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British sports car maker TVR gets closer to the release of its new car

Famed British sportscar maker TVR has been re-re-re-born and this time looks set to deliver an explosion of colour into the drab world of mass-produced cars.

THE UK DOESN’T have much of a car industry left, but what it does have is small, focused and very exciting as we explored in our Caterham and Morgan article.  Those are only two of the many famous British names, and TVR (from the founder TreVoR) is another.

TVR has been reborn after its latest near-death experience under a Russian zillionaire, as we recounted here, and now they have sent an update to all the lovers of slightly mad British rear-drive sports cars with big engines. Which is a lot of people.

The team say the styling is almost complete, after “hundreds of iterations” that now differ in “only small detail”. As ever, it’s difficult to balance the demands of modern legislation – safety, visibility of lights, compliance across many countries – with aerodynamics, practicality and of course that all-important TVR look.   TVR are using CAD software as well as actual scale models, which is kind of appropriate given their history.

TVR also say the body is “essentially non-structural” thanks to Gordon Murray’s iStream technology.   Normally in such cars the body provides a significant contribution to the chassis strength and rigidity, so you can’t develop the body without considering the chassis, and that means decisions in one have implications for another, inevitably leading to a compromise of both.  But somehow TVR have managed to decouple the two – only needing “structural hard points” between body and chassis, which is great news and should lead to a better car all round.  And more flexibility for different body styles too.

TVR also are proud to say that Gordon’s iStream Carbon will be a no-cost option.  Carbon-fibre has long been the wonder material for car construction, offering incredible strength for weight, but has also been incredibly expensive.  Now however Gordon Murray’s company says: “iStream Carbon is the world’s first affordable high volume carbon fibre chassis structure bringing FormulaOne materials and technology within reach of the everyday motorist.”  Sounds wonderful!

So when do we see the cars?  Don’t know. TVR has yet to actually find a factory, and say they aren’t treating the decision lightly, not wanting a location “simply because we could build a large shed with grant money”. Instead, they say they want their home to be “a statement of future intent, a place our customers would want to visit, and most of all somewhere all of us associated with TVR – the whole community” can rightly be proud to call home.

What will the cars be like? According to TVR the car (singular) will be the “coolest, hardest-performing hand-built British sports car” and “you will need to spend 1/4 million [pounds, $0.6m AUD] to find a worthy opponent.” And “a Sagaris wouldn’t even seen which way it went”. The Sagaris (pictured) was the previous TVR, released in 2005.

The engine will be a V8 Cosworth, has been fired up, and is doing development miles in a test mule.

More about the forthcoming TVR LE:

  • Will be left- and right-hand drive;
  • Coupe and convertible;
  • Six-speed manual only;
  • Initially only available in Europe;
  • TVR offer a money back replacement for those placing a deposit if you aren’t happy with the final specs (maybe you were expecting a front-drive hybrid?); and
  • The car should be delivered in in 2017, but pre-orders are now that new orders are likely to be delivered in 2018.


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Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper