Makkina, an automotive design house founded in 1998, does a lot of design work for various carmakers and other companies in the auto industry. However, much of its work is ‘behind the scenes’ and usually cannot be shown to the public.
The company has also produced showcars although its name may not be mentioned, and these obviously get displayed.
Its latest work is the TR25 concept car for the revitalised Triumph Motor Company, a sportscar company (unrelated to Triumph motorcycles) with a 138-year history.
Homage to the ‘Jabbeke’
Makkina has designed the TR25 paying particular homage to the record-breaking ‘Jabbeke’ Triumph TR2, MVC575, which broke the land speed record for production cars under 2 litres in May 1953.
Today, 70 years after its record was secured and 100 years since the Triumph name first appeared on a production car, it returns to the headlines under a different name and sporting a new, modern design direction.
Makkina has created the TR25 to embody the record-breaking car’s attributes in a contemporary way with realistic proportions that remain true to the Triumph brand.
From the outset, Makkina’s desire was to showcase the characteristics that made MVC575 such an important car. The front end with its two distinctive headlights – a design also synonymous with subsequent Triumph sportscars – and the sleek, aerodynamically-optimised exterior surfaces.
The headlamps of the TR25 mirror those of the ‘Jabbeke’ TR2, with a signature ‘25’ in the centre referring to Makkina’s 25th anniversary. Detailed touches include an updated version of the Triumph Motor Company’s emblem.
With a minimalistic interior inspired by the TR2, the TR25’s cockpit has a single-seat configuration with optional flip-out jump seat for the passenger. It aims to place the driver in a setting where there are no unnecessary distractions – minimal instruments and controls allow for the enjoyment of a pure driving experience.
The interior of the TR25 celebrates the essence of automotive design, referencing an era before enlarged touchscreens dominated the dashboard.
A self-centering dial in the steering wheel displays all vital information while a central binnacle will show road speed, charge levels, and battery range.
The spoked steering wheel, which pays tribute to the ‘Jabbeke’ TR2’s wheel in period, will be where the driver can access driving modes, data and the car’s navigation system.
BMW i3 electric platform
Using the platform of an all-electric BMW i3S as a platform, Makkina has been able to give the TR25 a near 50-50 weight distribution and low centre of gravity, allowing it to corner as a true sportscar should.
“Triumph is an incredibly significant name in the motoring industry, and we knew we carried a strong responsibility for its reawakening through the TR25,” said Michael Ani, who previously worked at IDA and Audi as a designer.
“We’re proud of the way we have revitalised the Triumph name and thank our friends BMW Group for allowing us the honour to badge a car that not only celebrates our own company’s 25th anniversary but also 70 years of the ‘Jabbeke’ TR2 record run and 100 years of this iconic marque,” “he said.
The reference to BMW is because the German company still owns the Triumph trademark. It was acquired in 1994 when the BMW Group bought the Rover Group, which included a number of brands that it has retained.