A recent invite received by Autocar to a preview of TVR’s electrified future unveilings suggests the firm is getting back on track with its revival plan, which has been beset by significant setbacks since it revealed its debut model, the Griffith, in September 2017.
It follows an announcement from the beleaguered TVR marque that it will launch an electric version of its delayed Griffith sports coupeÃ in 2024 and has partnered the Formula E race series in a bid to promote its new EV aspirations.
These are the latest in a series of ambitious pledges made by the revived British marque since it revealed the Griffith in 2017, each of which has raised questions about the viability of the project, given it has yet to start producing the Griffith.
Here is a summary of what we currently know about TVR and the key things we need to learn from the preview event later this month.
What we know
The Griffith is five years old
Even before it begins rolling down the production line, the car that will spearhead TVR’s bold new era is as old as the Ferrari Portofino, Volvo XC40 and current BMW M5 – all of which have long since been through extensive mid-life facelifts. Interestingly, the Griffith was revealed at the same time as the long-delayed Mercedes-AMG One, although that car is now finally on its way to customers.
So - the Griffith’s design, cabin and technology are no longer as cutting-edge as was presented at launch, which means established rivals should – on paper at least – edge it for technological functionality, efficiency and outright performance. Plus, it would be one of just four cars on sale still using a naturally aspirated V8, alongside the Lexus LC500, Lexus RC F and Ford Mustang.
The last of which uses the same 5.0-litre Coyote unit but is tipped to go hybrid in 2024. With an ICE ban looming in the UK – and most likely in the EU – the shelf life of a non-electrified sports car is vastly diminished.
Production is not yet under way
The last official update about TVR’s factory in Ebbw Vale, Wales, came in December 2020 and promised that work was soon to begin on an extensive renovation programme for the existing buildings with a view to getting a Griffith production line up and running. (The originally intended production start date was 2019.)
Ultimately, TVR plans to employ 200 people at the factory and says “significant progress” has been made. Autocar has learned TVR anticipates signing a lease deal in the coming weeks, now that the shell of the building is ready for the installation of tooling and equipment.
Delays initially stemmed from the Welsh government’s 3% stake in the sports car firm, which, under EU rules, necessitated a lengthy tendering process for the sourcing of a construction contractor.