The legendary British automotive brand, Triumph, is back in the spotlight with a dazzling electric sports car concept, the TR25, after decades of silence. Once a formidable contender in the American sports car market during the 50s and 60s, Triumph’s legacy ended with a Honda sedan re-badge before disappearing entirely in 1984. However, in an intriguing turn of events in 2023, Triumph is commemorating its 100th anniversary with a bold, new, electric roadster concept that promises to revitalize the brand.
Developed in collaboration with BMW, the new owners of the Triumph brand, and Makkina, a London-based automotive design house, the TR25 comes to life as an electric, single-seater vehicle. The project, marking Makkina’s first public design venture and their 25th anniversary, takes inspiration from Triumph’s iconic TR2, the first model to win the hearts of Americans and break world production-car speed records in 1953.
The TR25, like the record-breaking Jabbeke TR2, boasts a single-seater layout aimed to “emphasize the fact that this car is about pure driving pleasure,” as the official announcement states. Yet, it graciously conceals a flip-out jump seat within its carbon fiber chassis and body panels. The combination of classic bug-eyed headlamps and rounded fenders with futuristic 21-inch alloy wheels, scissor doors, and LED tail lamps demonstrates a unique blend of the old and new.
Stepping inside, the TR25 charms with its minimalist interior featuring blue leather and unpainted metal. The fixed driver’s seat, the sliding steering wheel, and pedals accommodate drivers of various heights. A digital binnacle, reminiscent of the Jabbeke TR2, sits behind the beautifully spoked steering wheel, while three toggle switches for drive modes are mounted on the car’s central spine.
Underneath its striking design, the TR25 boasts a 42.2 kWh battery and a rear-mounted electric motor taken from the BMW i3s. Despite its power output of 181 hp – double that of the original TR2 – its modest top speed of 115 mph and a 0-62 mph time of 5.2 seconds won’t be breaking any speed records today.
Makkina’s founder and director, Michael Ani, stands by the choice of using the BMW i3 as the basis for this new roadster. He says, “The i3s platform proves that driving an electric car can be fun,” highlighting the combination of instant torque, acceleration, agility, and silence as compelling elements of the electric driving experience.
This electric roadster concept serves as a testament to Makkina’s design prowess and a captivating vision for a sustainable, affordable sports car. The future of the TR25 remains uncertain, but the resonating appeal of the Triumph name among automotive enthusiasts gives hope for a possible reality where this roadster graces our streets.
Photo : Enes Kucevic, courtesy of BMW Group.