The New V8-Powered Griffith Heralds The Triumphant Return Of TVR
Do you remember TVR? It’s been 70 years since the British sports car company began exercising its engineering talents under the Trevcar Motors name, and over a decade since they’ve made anything new. The company’s history is a patchwork of dementedly rapid and raw cars (recall the Cerbera Speed 12 for instance) and a maze of financial and managerial restructuring woes that came to a head in the mid-2000s as plans for new models and reintroductions of previous ones consistently faltered and came to nothing.
Now, once more under British ownership, they are back in the automotive headlines again, and not with more news of fiscal woe this time. With a new car bearing an old name and a very promising future, this return to form wearing a TVR Griffith name tag debuted at the Goodwood Revival this morning, and the excitement is well-deserved. When you have the mages at Cosworth tuning your five-liter V8 to churn somewhere around 500 horsepower through a carbon and composite construction designed by Gordon Murray before spinning the rear wheels, it tends to be the case that any and all hype is called for.
Cosworth and Murray are names synonymous with Formula 1 prowess and outright domination (the DFV series of motors and the MP4/4 respectively spring to mind), and their involvement with this project bodes well not just for the individual car’s competence, but for the future of the TVR company at large. They are planning additional new models in the coming years, and this time we’re inclined to believe in the realization of the claim if the names they’ve worked with right out of the gate are any indication of their seriousness.
Thankfully the company’s coma for the past 10 years hasn’t resulted in any perceptible memory loss, and the new car is staying very true to the ethos of the company’s past. Which is to say it embodies a few simple traits: it’s small, it’s light (coming in at around 2,750lbs, or 1,250kg), it’s not addled with electronic assistance, and it will be ridiculously quick. TVR says the new Griffith will be capable of cresting the 200mph tick on the speedometer, and thanks to the flat undercarriage and ground effects-engineering of Mr. Murray, it will stick to the street like something that wasn’t designed to be on one. It’s perfectly balanced to boot, and while any car achieving a 50:50 distribution of its mass is an achievement of engineering unto itself, it is especially laudable in this case given the Ford Mustang-sourced honker of an engine placed up front. That motor will help the lithe Griffith reach 60mph in the sub-four-second range, and without relying on any kind of dual-clutch or other automatic wizardry, just a good old six-speed.
Production of the Griffith is slated to begin later in 2018, and the company says it’s planning to bring the car to the racetrack in the near future as well, and as such they’ve also brought along a liveried pace car to the Lord March estate for the Revival weekend. It shouldn’t require much alteration to turn this beast from Britain into a full-on competitor; TVR is known for building cars with minimal pedestrian aids, and the experience, like a race car’s, is not typically a forgiving one, but it is one that can be extremely fulfilling when placed in hands capable of squeezing out the potential inherent in these lightweight, powerful, rear-wheel drive cars.