The first new TVR sportscar from the reborn company is edging nearer, with more – carbon-fibre – pieces of the jigsaw confirmed this week. TVR says launch editions of the new V8 will be the first production TVRs to feature full carbon construction.
With chassis by Gordon Murray and normally-aspirated V8 by Cosworth, the first new TVR for 10 years will be the ‘coolest, hardest-performing hand-built British sports car’ TVR chairman Les Edgar told customers in a New Year message ‘A Sagaris wouldn’t even see which way it went’ he added. The new TVR is believed to be targeting a power/weight ratio of around 400bhp per tonne.
The car is built using a carbon version of Gordon Murray’s innovative iStream manufacturing process that had its debut in the pretty little Yamaha mid-engined car shown at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show.
Yamaha is already committed to using the original non-carbon iStream in its city car due in 2018.
iStream is a monocoque construction form that relies for light weight and strength on composite honeycomb panels (bonded to a steel tube frame) rather than carbon-fibre alone, reducing costs and boosting manufacturing flexibility. The important, Formula 1-inspired bit is the honeycomb, whatever the structure’s skins are made of. (See more on that in our interview with Murray here).
In the new TVR V8 – the car is as yet unnamed – we will be getting both honeycomb and carbon, for a sandwich construction, which should comfortably make this the most rigid car in TVR’s history as well as likely the most expensive.
The carbon ingredient will, however, only be an option on later cars, according to the company, news that signals that not all the cars will be as expensive as the first edition models. Chairman Edgar wants to make those extra ‘covetable’ as a reward for early adopters. iStream promises that even sans carbon body the new TVR will be light and very strong.
What else do we know about this much-anticipated British sports car’s return? The engine’s been on the dyno at Cosworth and ‘we are really pleased with the progress but there’s a lot of work still to do,’ according to Les Edgar. A mule car has been on the road for powertrain durability trials.
What don’t we know? Engine and performance stats, dimensions, pricing, and even where the car is going to be built, although one other advantage of Murray’s iStream is that it is quick to get off the ground and the factory can be a fraction the size of a regular car plant.
Great British performance car name, legendary designer, celebrated engine manufacturer …what’s not to like? No wonder there are ‘300-plus’ deposit holders now, and the talk is of a product plan for four new TVRs over the next decade.