We are not ones for spreading rumours but there have been so many in the air recently that we have decided to produce a summary of the various stories floating around. The latest set of automotive rumours are based around four different brands:
BMW leads the field with their claims to be investigating new brands to spread their target market. This has led to speculation that the Triumph brand could make a return, perhaps with a low budget 2-seater sports car. BMW Group have gained ownership of the Triumph, Mini, Rolls-Royce and Riley brands through various deals in recent years.
The possibility of a budget BMW group roadster would support the presumption that BMW are developing a more up-market replacement for the current Z4. A highly disguised car has been seen undergoing testing on several occasions. The prototype appears to be larger than the current Z4 but it is difficult to make any other conclusions.
Also seen undergoing test drives has been a convertible Audi A3. This car, seen completely undisguised, is expected to be launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March. The A3 has a fabric roof which extends to the rear of the car in the style of previous VW Golf Cabriolets.
Finally a third German Auto maker has got in on the rumour act. Maybach, the high end luxury brand of the Mercedes Group is said to be developing a 62 Landaulet model.
‘Landaulet’ is a term traditionally used for a part-convertible car where the convertible roof opens over the rear seats, but not the front these having a fixed, hard roof.
In the past these cars would have either a fully retracting roof or that of the ‘cabrio coach’ design where the door pillars and frames remain and only the roof folds back. As Mercedes are at the forefront of retractable hardtop design we may well see something of this nature at the rear of a new Maybach 62 Landaulet. The rumours suggest production will be limited to 20 cars.