As TVR's dramatic revival begins, the British sports car brand has given us another glimpse of its new creation at the 2016 London Motor Show. The front-end shape has been teased in a design sketch, while it looks likely to bring back the Griffith name.
A scale model of the car was shown under a cover on the TVR stand but the expectant press were told that the cover would not be removed. However, the image, which showed a front view of the sports car drawn in gaffer tape by designers, was replayed on a screen behind.
While the wait goes on for our first full look at TVR's new supercar creation we do know that the initial launch model will use carbon-fibre in its chassis. It will also use V8 power going through the rear wheels, promises a near-200mph top speed and will "definitely" cost less than £100,000.
Chairman of the reborn TVR group Les Edgar revealed at the event that the overall performance target has always been "sub 4-seconds to 60mph", and that the new car is on track to achieve this.
Edgar later told Auto Express that later production models will offer the carbon chassis as an optional extra, so standard cars will be "around £65k" or "roughly the same price level we were offering a well-specced Sagaris at before production ended".
When quizzed about the significant presence of an original 1960s TVR Griffith on the stand, Edgar responded: "we have many great names in our history: Tuscan, Chimaera, Griffith, and there's a good chance we will use one of those for this".
"The new car will hark back to the values TVR is known for, but will be better than ever before. We've put a lot of effort into the aerodynamics to ensure that performance is exceptional".
The car's 2017 production run is completely sold out and those who have already put down a deposit of £5,000 are set to get what TVR is calling the Launch Edition. That model will come with the carbon fibre structure as standard. TVR claims that those wanting still wanting to order won't see their completed cars until 2018, as production numbers are slowly ramped up.
Cars produced after the limited-run Launch Edition has reached its production quota will be offered the carbon fibre upgrade “as a cost-effective option.”
Les Edgar, chairman of TVR, said that the response to the decision had been “fantastic” and that “we will be looking to close the order book on the Launch Edition car shortly.”
Edgar also confirmed that the car’s finalised design would be revealed soon: “Our intent is to unveil the styling of the new car in the coming months at a public event.”
TVR will be using a carbon fibre manufacturing process named iStream. The process is designed to be simpler than other methods of carbon fibre manufacturing, which should save money and time.
The reborn brand (it was previously shut down and sold off in 2013) will use powertrains developed by Cosworth and design input from Gordon Murray, with the "all-new British designed and built sports car" under development.
TVR's revival comes a year after rumours began, as a holding page for TVR's website was posted last year sporting a TVR logo and the phrase 'never say never'.
But this isn't just a one-off rebirth. TVR Automotive plans to bring "at least" four new models to market in the next ten years, with the first being a two-seat sports car sporting a dry-sump Cosworth V8 and claiming "traditional TVR DNA". It'll be front-engined with rear-wheel drive, using a manual transmission and an aerodynamic composite body.
The project has been under development for over a year, Edgar, a businessman based in Dorking, Surrey, bought the rights to the TVR name in 2013. Edgar also purchased the rights to manufacturing equipment for existing cars from the former owner Nikolai Smolensky.
It's not yet clear what is planned for the three further models in the next decade, but we do know the first car will be "offered to the market at a compeitive price point within its segment" – and that is consistent with what we've seen from TVR in the past.
TVR, which was sold by Peter Wheeler to Smolensky in 2004 before being officially closed down in 2013, has suffered a troubled past but it looks like this latest revival is set to run its course. The factory was previously based in Blackpool, but it's unclear as yet where the new "UK-based" plant will be located.
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