- The TVR Griffith is “British in every way” with a big and loud engine up front!
- Launch Edition (LE) models are available, but production will be limited to 500.
Like a scene from a Monty Python movie, TVR is not dead yet. The legendary (some would say infamous) maker of crazy British sports cars is back with a new model, the Griffith. The great news is that it’s like the TVRs of old. And the bad news is that it’s like the TVRs of old.
Stop Me if You Have Heard This One . . .
There are many jokes about TVRs, but probably the most telling is this one: Who are TVR’s test drivers? Their first five customers! TVRs were notorious for being designed by crazy people and assembled by the very inattentive. They were usually grotesquely overpowered and not well set up, which to my mind, made them very attractive cars.
Another good one about TVRs: “Owning a TVR in the past was like owning a bear. I mean it was great, until it pulled your head off, which it would. One day, it would pull your head off.” Jeremy Clarkson said that. I never heard it until I just now read it on TVR’s website!
The TVR Griffith Has a List of Rules
It’s good to see they still have a sense of humor, and their latest joke to any of us gearheads living a long, healthy, stress-free life is the new Griffith. TVR is right up front with what they want their Griffith to do. They even wrote up a five-part list:
- British in every way.
- Two-seat coupé/convertible.
- True to TVR’s DNA and heritage.
- Breathtaking in appearance and performance.
- V8 (front-engine) with manual transmission & rear-wheel drive.
And really, who can argue with that. Oh sure, the killjoys out there will say the list is completely missing things like #6: Be Reliable, or #7: Don’t Kill Anyone, or #8: At least try to be somewhat practical. But who needs that sort of thing? Not a TVR owner!
Downforce & Side Exhausts
The all-new Griffith will get you an all-new design that employs a full ground-effect aerodynamic package for stability and handling. Side exhausts are used to allow a flat floor to generate downforce by channeling the airflow under the Griffith. And I must add that the side exhausts have a rather lovely All-American hot rod look to them!
Anyway, by using this approach, TVR has made the new Griffith stable at high speeds with exceptional handling and cornering capabilities (or so they say!).
Bring On The Noise!!
Like all TVRs, the Griffith seems to be over-engined. Motive power comes from a 5.0-liter V8 with a custom clutch, flywheel, and ECU. TVR doesn’t say where the engine will come from or who will be building it. It might be Ford (most sources are saying that) or BMW (like they did a little while back), or it could be (*shudder*) designed and built in-house.
We know for sure it’s a dry-sump layout and features other enhancements by Cosworth. The plant is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox from Tremec and has a 400 bhp per ton power-to-weight ratio.
TVR is using Gordon Murray Design’s unique iStream process in the building of the new Griffith. That means, in addition to being lightweight, it delivers exceptional torsional rigidity and passive safety capabilities. The carbon fiber composite structure boasts a rigidity of almost 20,000 Nm per degree, which is about what an IndyCar chassis was capable of doing in the 1990s.
The carbon fiber composite chassis will direct impact forces to the tires for increased safety (thank you very much). And TVR says the new Griffith also features airbags, ABS, and electronic stability control (gee, thanks).
TVR Griffith: Pricing & Availability
Do you want one? Of course, you do. I wanted one for a few minutes, but then I remembered all the times I saw TVR owners rending their garments and gnashing their teeth.
Oh, how much? This is where things get everso TVR.
To wit from their website: “If you would like to order the new TVR Griffith, then please use the link below to place a £5,000 deposit and secure a fully configurable coupé.” TVR doesn’t seem to say what the final cost will be. They just cheerily say, “Pay us now, and we’ll get back to ya!”
Now I am not saying TVR won’t come through, but what I am saying is be patient. And just hope you don’t get one of the first five or ten off the line.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.