In the first of two shock scoops about one car giant this week, Auto Express can exclusively uncover exciting plans by BMW to bring back one of Britain’s best-loved marques – Triumph is on to a winner!
Last week, the firm announced its plans for the future. Part of this strategy was the introduction of the long-awaited SUV version of the MINI – but bosses also described why they are aiming to expand the company with new brands.
Despite speculation that Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo are in the frame as targets for acquisition, our sources have suggested that BMW will add to its portfolio by reviving a classic badge – and Triumph is top of the list. The historic British marque, which the maker took over when it bought MG Rover in 1994, would be a clear choice to market a rival for the new, Chinese-owned MG TF roadster.
Our pictures reveal what a modern Triumph car could look like, taking its styling inspiration from the classic TR4. Just as the new MINI’s design was heavily influenced by the Sixties classic, a reinvented Triumph would be a retro remake.
BMW is committed to launching more premium models as it bids to gain a bigger slice of the most lucrative areas of the new car market. And these pictures show how an upmarket two-seater could offer a premium alternative to the Mazda MX-5. With a raft of class-leading engines and platforms in the BMW stable, the roadster would be a force to be reckoned with. However, there are obstacles to overcome before any Triumph car could be built.
One problem may be Triumph the motorcycle manufacturer. The firm confirmed the car and motorbike brands are separately owned. A spokeswoman for the firm told us: "BMW owns the rights to Triumph Cars, which is entirely separate from Triumph Motorcycles. We are therefore not privy to any activities they may be planning and are unable to comment".
As well as using the household name to market a new roadster, BMW would benefit from having Triumph models to test its low-weight materials and new technologies before using them on mainstream cars. But bosses will be watching with interest Audi’s relationship with the Austrian motorbike maker KTM, which has already led to the production of the X-Bow track-day car.
In a recent statement, chairman of the board of management at the blue propellor, Norbert Reithofer, said: “The BMW Group explored all the options for future growth during the strategic review, including potential acquisitions or the creation of a fourth brand. However, this would require the new automotive brand to be a perfect fit for the company.”
No official comment has been made about the Triumph project, but British car fans can expect to hear more on the ambitious plans by the end of the year.