Unless you're a hardcore car geek, you'd be forgiven for not knowing much about TVR. The company was known for building sports cars that were so crazy as to be nearly unusable. Now, after 10 years of laying low, TVR is back with something that lives up to its history.
Say hello to the new TVR Griffith. The name comes from a line of sports cars that were built in the 1990s. They were small, light two-doors with V8 engines under their hoods. That sounds like a recipe for ditch seeking oversteer, but the car was reportedly rather balanced.
Its successor keeps that theme alive. The new Griffith is a lithe-looking thing, with some interesting curves and a front end that keeps reminding me of McLaren's latest sports cars. That's not a bad comparison at all. The back end brings the Toyota FT1 concept to mind, at least for me, and the tiny little wing coming off the rear end is closer to "totes adorbs" than "harsh and aggressive."
My favorite part of the design, though, is the gnarly set of sidepipes that has the engine's exhaust exiting just behind the front wheels. It's a surprising feature, but with Gordon Murray, the man behind the McLaren F1, at the design helm, I knew we'd be getting something cool.
Underneath its body, bolted to the carbon-fiber chassis, is a 5.0-liter Cosworth-massaged V8. TVR only lists the output as 400 horsepower per metric ton, but since the Griffith weighs 1.25 metric tons (2,755 pounds), we can easily estimate an output at around 500 horsepower. With its six-speed manual gearbox, the Griffith will hit 60 mph in less than 4.0 seconds and continue on until it surpasses the 200-mph tick on the speedometer. Numbers geeks will enjoy the Griffith's 50:50 weight distribution.
In keeping with the theme of focusing on the driver, the Griffith's interior is somewhat sparse. From the picture we've been given, the buttons for manipulating driver aids (traction control, sport mode, and so on) are displayed prominently next to the steering wheel. The gauge cluster is a screen, and there's another one in the center stack. If you're looking for adaptive cruise control or blind spot monitoring, you're best served looking elsewhere.
When it goes on sale in 2018, the TVR Griffith Launch Edition will start at £90,000 (which converts to about $118,915), with its base model coming in slightly below that later on. Those of you hoping for it to come to the US will need to hope very hard, as I don't really see that happening.