What’s a motor show without a world premiere? And Revival’s Earls Court show certainly had that in the form of the reborn TVR Griffith.
SEP 08th 2017
Gordon Murray and more talk new TVR Griffith reactions at Revival
It was a big – actually unique in Revival history – moment when
Lord March and TVR chief Les Edgar unveiled the new production model, joined by the mastermind behind its engineering, Gordon Murray – it’s only the second high-performance road car he has designed after the McLaren F1 25 years ago.
A brief roar from the Cosworth-tuned V8 left no one in any doubt that TVR was back. So what did everyone think? GRR went around the hall asking that question. Now the verdict is in…
Happy with the reaction to it?
Yes. The car is stunning. It was a difficult balance to keep TVR aficionados happy and broaden the appeal to others. I think we have got that mix about right.
How did you get TVR DNA into it?
Les and the team had a good idea of what they wanted when they came to us, not the physical attributes but the feel of it. We have carried that over but not everything from TVRs of old - you want the engineering to be better of course.
How did you come up with the new face?
The variety of TVRs over the years is mind-boggling. What our styling guys did was stare at all these different TVRs for weeks until they came up with the shape of the grille and the new face, which TVR can now use for future models. It incorporates styling elements from five old TVR models.
Is it back to sports car basics enough for you?
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.
Have you engineered a convertible at the same time?
We have talked to TVR about product strategy for two years but where the car goes next is Les’s decision.
But your iStream construction could cope with a convertible?
The lovely thing about iStream is that the bit underneath the car doesn’t change. All the red stuff keeps the rain out, the body is totally non-structural. So you can have whatever you like on the same chassis.
Richard Sails, Chairman TVR car club
(TVR driver for 20 years and owner of three M series cars and a 1990s Griffith)
How big-a-day is this in TVR’s history?
Huge. Five years ago we all thought we had seen the last new TVR. To come up with a car ready to roll in four years is amazing. Anyone can build a car and put a badge on it, what Les Edgar and his team have done is get the true TVR DNA into it.
Could someone other than a TVR fan have achieved this?
It would have been a lot harder. Les is just like us, a TVR owner who loves them like we do.
How important that the McLaren F1 designer Gordon Murray has had a big hand in it?
You can’t get better credentials than that. It says it all. And if you look at the car you can see it’s a development of where TVR was going.
...And assorted TVR owners have their say
It’s made in Wales, not Blackpool, does that matter?
Its birthplace is not important as long as it has the DNA of a TVR.
What is that TVR DNA to you?
Big engine, rear-wheel drive, light chassis, lots of noise. TVR is not the retiring men’s club.
What else does it need?
It has to be bloody good fun to drive.
Do you want traction control and other driver aids?
What are they?
Verdict on the styling?
My concerns were that it wouldn’t look right and it wouldn’t have the V8 music. I was wrong. It’s just what it needs to be.
And from someone else…
I think the styling is the best they could do given all the design and safety constraints these days. But for me, it’s not enough. I am sure it will be a great car but I don’t want to own one.
What else were you expecting to see?
What I want is a convertible. To me, a convertible is what a TVR is about. This car seems to have all the right ingredients but it does need to lose its roof. I would consider buying a convertible version.
What about using the Griffith name?
That’s the one thing I am not sure about. They should have come up with something new just like TVR used to, found another god or something.
Is £90,000 the right price point for it?
For me, it’s not. A Jaguar F-type starts at about £50,000.
How will performance be?
With 400bhp per tonne there’s nothing else in its class. And given that chassis have been a TVR achilles’ heel over the years, the carbon and aluminium iStream construction is the ideal way to go.
Marks out of 10?
Between eight and nine is the consensus. But: “we’ll only know for sure when we hear what is sounds like and when we throw it into a corner.”
A new dawn for TVR?
We sincerely hope so. But TVR will always exist as long as there is a TVR car club and members who keep the cars going.
With thanks to:
Richard, TVR S1 but used to have a Grantura MkI canary yellow in the ‘60s; Glenn, TVR S1 and an S3 C; Neil, doesn’t own a TVR but his first ever job as a teenager was in a TVR dealership; Nigel, 400 SE; Chris, Tuscan S.
Photography by James Lynch