TVR Grif­fith

Re­vived name for re­born sports car

Auto Car (UK) - - CONTENTS - STEVE CRO­P­LEY

TVR has fi­nally re­vealed its long-awaited sports car at the Good­wood Re­vival, where it also con­firmed that the up­com­ing Porsche 911 ri­val will be called Grif­fith.

It’s the first model to be launched since TVR’S res­ur­rec­tion by its cur­rent own­ers, led by Les Edgar. The Grif­fith is built on an all-new plat­form that uses Gor­don Mur­ray’s in­no­va­tive istream ar­chi­tec­ture. Its de­sign takes in­spi­ra­tion from the orig­i­nal TVR Grif­fith but adopts more ad­vanced aero­dy­nam­ics to boost per­for­mance.

The car’s istream struc­ture fea­tures in­ner pan­els of car­bon­fi­bre bonded into a steel frame. The body­work is also made from car­bon­fi­bre, help­ing to keep the Grif­fith’s weight down to 1250kg. The car has a 50/50 weight dis­tri­bu­tion.

Un­der the bon­net is a highly strung ver­sion of Ford’s 5.0-litre V8 en­gine, fet­tled by Cos­worth to pro­duce 500bhp. This has en­sured that TVR’S tar­get for a 400bhp-per-tonne out­put has been met. It also en­ables a sub-4sec 0-62mph time and a top speed of more than 200mph. Drive is sent to the rear wheels through a sixspeed man­ual gear­box.

The car is 4314mm long, 1850mm wide and 1239mm tall, mak­ing it the most com­pact car in its class. The 911, for ex­am­ple, is 185mm longer, 42mm wider and 55mm taller, em­pha­sis­ing the smaller scale of the Grif­fith.

The in­te­rior was also re­vealed for the first time at Good­wood. It’s a de­lib­er­ately sim­ple, ana­logue in­te­rior, TVR said. Plainly vis­i­ble were a TFT screen ahead of the driver and a sep­a­rate, prom­i­nent, cen­tral screen for func­tions like au­dio and nav­i­ga­tion. There are also com­pe­ti­tion-in­spired seats. The idea, TVR peo­ple said, had been to re­visit some of the ex­trav­a­gant curves of the Cer­bera – per­haps the most rad­i­cal TVR of the Peter Wheeler era – while mak­ing sure the new car can ef­fi­ciently be man­u­fac­tured in both left-hand and right-hand drive con­fig­u­ra­tions.

It is four years, Edgar said at the un­veil­ing, since a dozen well-heeled and like-minded spir­its as­sem­bled in Sur­rey and set out to buy back the rights to what peo­ple still think of as the Black­pool mar­que, even though the last car built in the re­sort town is now a decade old.

Talk­ing at the launch, TVR chair­man Edgar said: “We’re not out to steal any­one else’s mar­ket. We’re here to re­claim what’s ours.”

Us­ing a pop­u­lar buzz term, Edgar said the new TVR was very much “a con­nected car” but, in this case, that word would ap­ply to the part­ner­ship be­tween car and driver.

“Our con­nec­tion will not be via Wi-fi” he de­clared, “but via a clutch, a gear­stick, an en­gine, a great set of tyres and good old-fash­ioned physics.” He de­scribed the new Grif­fith as a car that “re­lies purely on God’s grace.” One vi­tal fea­ture, he said, was

the car’s reliance on full, ground-ef­fect aero­dy­nam­ics, a qual­ity that al­ways works and never wears out. The Grif­fith has a front split­ter, a com­pletely flat floor and a very prom­i­nent rear dif­fuser.

De­scrib­ing the be­gin­ning of the project, Edgar ex­plained how he and his share­hold­ers sat in a big room, fronted by master en­gi­neer Mur­ray with a white board. Mur­ray pro­ceeded to lay out how the car should be. The plan for a 400bhp-per­tonne power-to-weight ra­tio was born back then, too.

Edgar said: “Gor­don laid out the di­men­sions and pro­por­tions the car would need, placed the me­chan­i­cal parts in a way that would give us a 50/50 weight dis­tri­bu­tion and told us we’d have a good car as long as we didn’t change any­thing. So we didn’t.”

New car takes the name first used on a TVR (above) in the 1960s

Grif­fith was un­veiled at the Good­wood Re­vival by Les Edgar

Grif­fith is smaller than a Porsche 911 and weighs 1250kg

Ground-ef­fect aero­dy­nam­ics and car­bon­fi­bre body­work fea­ture

Cos­worth-tuned 5.0-litre V8 en­ables sub-4.0sec for 0-60mph

In­te­rior is de­lib­er­ately straight­for­ward and ana­logue in its feel

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