British sports car maker TVR is on the comeback trail, with plans for at least one new model that have generated quite a bit of buzz. In an encouraging sign of the company’s progress, TVR says it has a site picked out for a new factory that will build this car.
That factory will be located in the Ebbw Vale Enterprise Zone in South Wales, TVR announced. That’s a bit far from the company’s traditional home in Blackpool, England, but the deal allows TVR to get some financial assistance from the Welsh government. It’s getting over 30 million pounds (about $42 million) of assistance, in fact, over five years. TVR says it still needs to choose a specific site for the factory, and will announce that in the coming weeks.
TVR hasn’t built a car in about a decade, but it plans to launch a range of new models beginning in 2017. The company says it’s already received 350 reservations for the first model, which should keep the Welsh factory humming into 2018. That car will have a body and chassis designed by Gordon Murray, creator of the McLaren F1, TVR says. It will use Murray’s iStream process, which is billed as a less-expensive manufacturing process for carbon-fiber components.
Like the past cars TVR is known for, the new model will be a rear-wheel-drive two-seater. It will use a V8 engine tuned by racing firm Cosworth, and is believed to be based on the 5.0-liter “Coyote” V8 used in the Ford Mustang. This first new model will serve as a springboard for other variants. Entry-level models may forego the iStream chassis for a more basic tube chassis and composite bodywork.
One of the variants may be a race car. TVR previously said it would enter the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2018, and would show a race-ready version of its new sports car in 2017. Racing would certainly be a good way for the company to get back in the spotlight after being in hibernation since 2013. That was when Russian businessman Nikolai Smolenski gave up on TVR after years of efforts to keep it going.
The TVR name is well known, but it’s not often that a car company comes back from the dead. And considering that we don’t even know what the new TVR looks like (the rendering you see is used by the company, but was created by Autocar magazine) it’s hard to say whether this resurrection will really happen.