New Corvette-powered convertible could be unveiled at Goodwood show in July
30 April 2010

Nikolai Smolenski, the Russian oligarch who owns TVR, has revealed plans to revive the marque with a new Corvette-engined model to be produced in Germany.

The cars are likely to be built by Gullwing, which currently makes the AC MkVI, the successor to the AC Cobra. Alan Lubinsky, AC’s owner, said discussions to make TVRs are under way, but no deal has been concluded as yet.

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Smolenski bought TVR from its long-time owner, the late Peter Wheeler, in 2004 for a rumoured £15 million, but was unable to sustain production and the company collapsed in 2006 amid considerable acrimony, leaving around 250 workers without jobs.

Smolenski has been linked with secret plans to show a new prototype TVR at Goodwood’s Moving Motor Show in July.

In an exclusive interview with Autocar, Smolenski revealed that his new car will have a modified version of the traditional steel backbone chassis and all-independent suspension that were used for all previous TVR models.

There is no question of reviving TVR’s own-design V8 or straight six engines, Smolenski said, due to homologation and cost reasons.

“We looked at every engine available — including making our own — and decided that the Corvette was the most powerful off-the-shelf design going. Fitting it to our chassis allows us to meet all current regulations and is not too big a step.”

In the longer term, the revived TVR company plans a hybrid concept, said Smolenski. “I always wanted an automatic model,” he said, “but the chassis wouldn’t allow either a regular auto or an automated manual. The hybrid concept would allow us to kick out the conventional gearbox completely.”

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The first new-generation TVRs will be convertibles, reminiscent of the Tuscan, because Smolenski believes that most customers prefer open-top cars. It is too early to forecast names or prices, he said, but a new car “shouldn’t cost any more” than the European price of an equivalent Corvette.

Autocar is an official media partner for the Moving Motor Show and the Festival of Speed, so you can buy your tickets online at Goodwood Festival of Speed Moving Motor Show tickets.

Alternatively, call 01243 755055 and quote Autocar.


Steve Cropley


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28 April 2010

Glad to see there's a chance TVR will be revived :)

28 April 2010

I'm sorry, but an automatic TVR? The man really has no idea... Leave that crap to Aston. TVR should be about hairy-chested cars, with heavy manual gearboxes. Oh, and why can't he revive the Rover V8 for TVR? It's more or less a straight swap between the RV8 and the GM LS (the LS being based on the Chevy small-block, which was the big sister to the Buick 215 aka Rover 3.5 litre). And it's going to be made in Germany. I'm not getting my hopes up yet. Idiot.

28 April 2010

He should have bought Portsmouth FC rather than TVR. Useless idiot. I hate to think what over-priced and underachieving junk (pure conjecture of course) is going to come out of this. At least you could never accuse previous TVRs of being over-priced, they were a very cheap way to ruin a perfectly good set of underwear!

28 April 2010

Its not exactly going to be The Return of The Blackpool Bomber, is it?

Not with it being Made in Germany with an American engine and auto box

The noise you can here is Trevor Wilkinson spinning....

28 April 2010

He really hasn't got a clue has he? He wrecks the company, insults the workforce, destroys brand loyalty, shuts it down, and then expects to make a comeback with a b!stardised design from a country where his antics may not be as well known. Avoid! Buy a Corvette.

28 April 2010

Real shame this. TVR is a british made unique brand based on doing things the hard way. How many niche manufacturers ploughed on with making wiring looms in house, designing there own engines etc. rather than build around off the shelf units?

Trading on the name only, this little upstart should have gone down the road of naming it the Smolenski. Automatic German/American trash. Having said all that I hope it succeeds due toit having the TVR name.

28 April 2010

The GM V8 conversion is already a popular and established option for TVR owners whose AJP8 or speed six engine has gone pop.

The engine is (relatively) light and compact, it sounds awesome, it's quite powerful and, cruicially, it's very simple proven technology which can meet current emissions standards.

Smolenski doesn't even have to design a new car - just start re-manufacturing Tuscans and T350Cs with the new GM engine then as long as he doesn't take the pizz with the pricing then it should sell.

For all the Rover V8 lovers - you are aware the engine is actually a Buick (American) design that was effectively built under licence by Rover ?. IIRC, it costs £8k to build a 5.0 litre Rover V8 that makes 300 bhp - but you can buy a brand new GM crate V8 with 400 bhp for half that.

28 April 2010

[quote Jon Hardcastle]TVR is a british made unique brand based on doing things the hard way. How many niche manufacturers ploughed on with making wiring looms in house[/quote] There is no inherent customer value in 'doing things the hard way'. Pal of mine was interested in buying a TVR in the glory days – until he went to the factory and saw how that home-made wiring was being unceremoniously stuffed behind dash panels. He still bought one despite that, but sold it soon after following a series of problems and a lack of interest (bordering on aggression) from the factory.

28 April 2010

[quote Chips]For all the Rover V8 lovers - you are aware the engine is actually a Buick (American) design that was effectively built under licence by Rover ?. [/quote]

Rover bought the rights to it, Buik didn't want it.

Goodness knows who owns the rights now, JLR?

28 April 2010

Can't be long before a blogger argues, "It ain't British no more!"

This is the umpteenth announcement from the Moleskins camp of a TVR renaissance which means there's a tax advantage producing a handful of cars in the venture. Other than that the marque is as dead as the Dodo. With preowned premium sports cars as cheap a chips, and dealerships around to service them, no one with any sense will consider buying an untested glassfibre TVR full of foibles and gremlins all for the sake of having exclusivity. One only needs to consider the productive uncertainty of a company managed by the man to run in the opposite direction.


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