What’s a Motorshow without a World Premiere?
This Friday, for the first time ever, the Goodwood Revival hosted a new car launch. This historic event, held in the Earls Court Motor Show venue at the Revival, was also the global relaunch of a great British brand – TVR.
Gordon Murray Design (GMD) has developed the chassis and suspension, using a front-mid-engined configuration, with the engine set well back behind the front axle. Murray and TVR are claiming an impressive 1250kg weight for their new car, with a 50:50 weight distribution. This has been made possible by advances in carbon fibre mass production, something that Murray has been pioneering with his iStream technology.
Crucially, the new TVR is to be – like the F1 – an extremely compact design. It measures just 4300mm long and 1271mm tall, which is 190mm shorter and 25mm lower than the current 911). One of the things we love about driving classic cars is how small and wieldy they are, and we applaud any modern car that manages this.
Back in 1990 Murray tapped his old Brabham Formula One engine designer Paul Rosche to design and supply a BMW Motorsport engine. In 2017 for TVR, Murray is using another Formula One connection, this time Cosworth, who have tuned the Ford 5.0 litre V8 for the car. It is naturally aspirated and expected to make around 480bhp. Doubtless there will be higher performance variants to follow.
Interview with Gordon Murray.
Speaking with Gordon Murray at the launch, he explained that the stylists had hoped to strike the right compromise between pleasing brand loyalists and attracting a new customer base. Clearly, this is a reborn TVR with ambitions to serve a new generation of enthusiasts who are looking for a more refined package in terms of dynamics, build quality and styling and not just fans of the raw thrills of TVRs of the past 25 years.
We are huge fans of your work on road cars, from the Rocket to the F1, and now this. Well Done!
Gordon Murray: What do you think of the styling of the car? We are trying to appeal to a new audience of enthusiasts while also keeping the fans of the old cars happy.
You nailed it. The car looks fantastic. Modern, relevant, British. We are very excited about the whole package. Can you speak a little bit about your iStream technology and how it has been applied to this car? The 1250kg weight is very impressive.
Gordon Murray: iStream is a technology which can utilise glass fibre or carbon fibre components to construct a chassis in a cost-effective way. In the case of this TVR, we have used Carbon Fibre and it is the first time that we have done this on a production car.
What about the engineering of the overall package? How did you produce a car which is not compromised in everyday use but still light enough?
Gordon Murray: It is certainly light enough at under 1300kg, which is much less than the opposition and 300kg lighter than the Mercedes-AMG GT which is its direct competitor. We had an absolute width maximum so it’s narrow enough for British lanes. The footprint is slightly smaller than a Porsche 911’s.
Styling and Design.
The styling is extremely impressive and the car is convincing in a way that no previous TVR could hope to be. It is a finely executed concept of what a modern cutting edge interpretation of a 60s TVR would be. Fine concept car details abound, such as the cutaway side skirts with the exhausts exiting just behind the front wheels. Huge air ducts fore and aft of the tires give the impression of race car bodywork refined for the road, as does the huge rear diffuser.
The overall design is extremely pleasing, with echoes of the Bertone Mantide, without the extreme proportions of that car. The interior is concept car cool with all the usual technology you would expect, coupled with beautiful custom machined and cast details.
TVR was established in 1947 and has an enviable back catalogue of small sports and racing cars. They were raced throughout the history of the marque, including at Sebring and Le Mans, up until it’s receivership in 2006.
The current incarnation of TVR is led by Les Edgar, and the plan is to build up to a four car range – 2 hardtops and 2 roadsters. As huge fans of TVR, Gordon Murray and cars for drivers…we can’t wait.
TVR production will begin in Wales in 2018.