Cosworth-tuned Ford V8 motor overloads the dyno during its initial test run, and Autocar was there to exclusively witness the moment. Plus, Le Mans plans confirmed for 2017
7 October 2015

TVR fired up its new Cosworth V8 for the first time a few days ago - and discovered it had so much grunt that it overloaded the dyno.

Company bosses Les Edgar and John Chasey were visiting Cosworth’s Northampton works to view and hear a prototype of their new car’s Le Mans engine and watch it do a simulated lap of the famous circuit, but barely a minute into the test its torque output so exceeded expectations that the test equipment had to be shut down and reconfigured.

 

A few minutes later the re-engineered, all-alloy Ford ‘Coyote’ V8 completed its test lap in 3min 40sec - good enough to have made a TVR Cosworth-powered car a front-runner in the GT3 category at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours.

Latest - see the first official images of the new TVR

TVR says versions of the Coyote V8 will power every version of its new Gordon Murray-designed car, with power outputs believed to range from around 450bhp to beyond 500bhp.

Every engine will be hand-assembled in Cosworth’s world-famous race shop, under the same conditions as the firm’s F1 and IndyCar race engines and by the same people.

“We thought about setting up a separate operation to build the TVR V8s,” said Cosworth technical director Bruce Wood. “But it seemed more efficient to make them the way we do all our other engines.”

Wood added that Cosworth might build a separate facility if volume increased beyond about 500 cars a year, but if that happened, the same standards would be applied.

TVR plans to build its car in a number of guises - standard and extra-performance road car, track-day car, Tuscan series racer and Le Mans car -so it is reluctant to disclose the extent of Cosworth’s modifications to the Coyote V8.

In standard form, the engine already appears in power levels from around 300bhp in the Ford F-100 pick-up to 412bhp in the recently launched European-spec Mustang.

However, the TVR engines will get unique engine management, which has been designed by Cosworth to modify the behaviour of the engine’s variable cam phasing, plus a lighter flywheel, a dry sump (both to prevent oil starvation during high cornering loads and to lower the engine in the car) and unique manifolds to suit the cars’ side-exit exhausts.

“We reviewed a lot of engines before making our choice,” said Edgar. “We even thought about bringing back TVR’s Speed Six. I’ve always admired my predecessors for being bold enough to make their own engine. But the Speed Six couldn’t have met future clean-air regulations, so it wasn’t a serious contender.”

One argument in favour of the Ford engine, said Edgar, is that American companies are good at making “bombproof” big-capacity V8s. “We needed an engine with built-in reliability and long life,” he added, “but with enough ‘head room’ for the extra performance we had in mind. It was clear the Coyote could do those things.”

Cosworth, whose relationship with Ford goes back more than 60 years, soon established that Coyote was modern, packed with new technology, quite compact and “not heavy”, not least because of its aluminium block. “We’re more concerned with power-to-weight than outright power,” said Edgar. “Our target weight for the first car is 1100kg, so with the power we already know we can get, we’re on target.” 

TVR’s intention is that Le Mans racing will be “front and centre” of its business. The company will reveal and display a version of its Le Mans car at the 2017 race - shortly before it starts selling roadgoing versions of its first model and plans to be ready to compete in the 2018 race.

Edgar and Chasey want the relationship between the road car and the racer to be simple and close. The first TVRs should reach customers in the second half of 2017.

More on TVR's new sports car:

Video: first look at all-new TVR sports car

TVR's official video

New TVR sports car to use Gordon Murray's iStream Carbon process

TVR cars to be built at Circuit of Wales

Used TVRs from £5 to £50,000 in our latest used car buying guide

Join the debate

Comments
10

7 October 2015

A TVR which actually starts! An astonishing achievement, no wonder they look so happy. Hopefully Gordon Murray's design will also include a lightweight flask and blanket for those long and lonely hours on the hard shoulder.

7 October 2015

It's not the engines which TVR needs to get right, mechanically they were robust, it's the electronics that let the down; over complicated immobilisers and alarms which would just plain refuse to let them start some days but be fine the next, for no apparent reason. I don't speak as an ex owner, but an ex owners work neighbour. Just fit a normal ignition systen and a key to start. Knowing TVR it won't be that simple, you'll probably need to download an iPhone app just to get into it.

 

 

7 October 2015

Is cell 3 the famous one that has done the first Dyno test for the last 40 years or something?

All credit to Les Edgar and John Chasey for getting TVR back on the road again. As ever Norma Smellons helps by adding nothing but negativity...

7 October 2015

I thought it was an interesting quote in the video that this engine will get them through to 2020, I got the impression (maybe wrongly) that they are planning to make their own engines that will go in the cars from that year.

7 October 2015

I'm really excited for the re-birth of TVR, can't wait to see how the first road car looks, handles and performs in 2018! I think this is going to be the last great petrolhead car introduction before the whole world goes electric.

Cyborg

7 October 2015

Come on people! What is the relevance of highlighting the failings old TVR in comparison to new TVR? They are in no way the same company. The new company is just trying to capture the (pretty epic) charms of the old one, and then add to it. What is the problem with that? Gordon not good enough for you? Seriously - what the hell do you want out of cars if not this? 'Hey, I'm so excited about my low CO2 emissions, parktronic bleeps and fake blipping downshifts'. What a load of dull crap that is.

9 October 2015
eseaton wrote:

What is the problem with that? Gordon not good enough for you?

It's the other way around, actually; why waste a fine Murray chassis and a nice V8 on a bloody TVR, all plastic and sellotape, incapable of negotiating any roundabout without making a complete arse of itself. But nobody quite put it like:

Russell Bulgin once wrote:

Two things make me ashamed to be British. Tim Henman and TVR...

8 October 2015

I previously owned a 4.3 Griffith for a couple of years, I now currently own a 2003 Tuscan S and had it for 16 months, neither car has let me down, so stop the boring BS about reliability & build quality. Fantastic design and brilliant performance, never without a smile on my face and I see many other motorists & bikers smiling back. May the new TVR owners bring on many more in the future.

8 October 2015
glennamy wrote:

I previously owned a 4.3 Griffith for a couple of years, I now currently own a 2003 Tuscan S and had it for 16 months, neither car has let me down, so stop the boring BS about reliability & build quality. Fantastic design and brilliant performance, never without a smile on my face and I see many other motorists & bikers smiling back. May the new TVR owners bring on many more in the future.

I envy you, a Griffith really appeals. I do feel though that a couple of slight tweaks could have made them almost perfect. Firstly, simplify the electronics on the latter cars to match the basically sound mechanicals and, perhaps more importantly, why on earth didn't they galvanise the chassis? A glaring omission on an otherwise rust proof car. Yes, new chassis' are relatively cheap, but fitting them...

 

 

8 October 2015
glennamy wrote:

I previously owned a 4.3 Griffith for a couple of years, I now currently own a 2003 Tuscan S and had it for 16 months, neither car has let me down, so stop the boring BS about reliability & build quality. Fantastic design and brilliant performance, never without a smile on my face and I see many other motorists & bikers smiling back. May the new TVR owners bring on many more in the future.

The Griffith was my favourite ever TVR, and it would definitely be in my fantasy garage. I love a smooth, sleek, elegant car and there aren't many smoother. If the new owners simply put modern power and electronics into the Griffith body they would be well on target to making an epic sportscar.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left

 

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