I don’t profess to be all knowing when it comes to the history, heritage and detailed doings of the Standard Motor Company. What I do know is what I believe “makes” a Triumph for me. Generating odor-induced memories from a website is probably the only thing more difficult than attempting to illustrate the feeling I hope to evoke from a new Triumph.
Triumph in bullet-list form:
- Male, masculine…but not in a Lou Ferrigno or Vin Diesel sense of the word. Think Daniel Craig or perhaps Clint Eastwood…something more authentic with strength of character that surpasses a simple raw power. Rugged in appearance, balanced and delicate where it counts.
- Simple, minimilist…everything is to the point, intuitive, and functional. Driving is the focus, there is no place for “satnav” and extraneous gadgetry. The iPod and Bluetooth are so well integrated, you just call it music and phone.
- Fun. The most difficult to quantify…you should want to drive just for the sake of the experience, the sounds, the vibrations, the tactile sensations – and the more off highway, the better. A car you’ll spend hours in, just looking for another backroad to find the “best” way to the office, home or wherever your destination. 45 MPH and a country road, this is where you’ll want to go – and it should feel that way, on every road at every speed.
- Cottage comfortable and modern. The most contradictory facet of a modern Triumph would be the balancing act of combining “Old World” charisma from natural materials like leather, wood, metal into a more efficient and modern world of plastics. This will take some real world experimentation, but I liken this to finding a balance closer to the Goodwood Mini – but somehow achieving this sensation at a fraction of the cost. The interior appointments should never feel contrived or overtly “Rolls Royce” – that flies in the face of the masculine minimilist that makes up the core attributes of a Triumph. Likely the best way to handle this is through vehicle options, let the driver choose the experience. Simple, spartan or dress it up – your call.
- Competitive. Triumph was never a huge racing name, but it has some claims to fame through the years. I believe that racing brings out the best in a car through lessons learned the hard way. Labs and 3D renderings are great, but nothing compares to experience.
- Innovative. Triumph was known for pushing the envelope with some of the earliest innovations for productions cars, like disc brakes and ventilation in the dash. I believe the modern Triumph should be focused on pushing the envelope wherever it matches up with the core attributes of simplicity, masculine and fun.
- Environmentally speaking. I’m not a big fan of EV cars and believe there is a limited future for such an animal. Where a modern Triumph can be “environmental” is to focus on local resources and renewable, recyclable and natural materials in the making and selling of cars. Some may argue the internal combustion engine is dead, but I love them and wouldn’t wish an EV car on anyone seeking the joy of driving. The sounds, vibrations and sensory benefits are far too important. I’m okay with finding a way to burn something else that pollutes less, but my God – please make fire inside the engine!