RAC Cars News


TVR confirms new Welsh factory

By raccars Published

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The forthcoming return of TVR is gaining traction with the opening of a new Welsh factory.

Fans of sports cars, British cars - or just cars in general - can't fail to be excited at the prospect of seeing new TVRs on the road again. The British sports car manufacturer, now owned and run by UK businessman Les Edgar, has been working with Cosworth and former F1 designer Gordon Murray to make a new series of sports cars. The first model is due in 2017, a rear wheel drive, front engined V8 using a 500bhp plus Ford Cosworth engine.

Ebbw Vale and the Circuit of Wales

Earlier this month it was confirmed that TVR will be building the car in a brand new production facility in Ebbw Vale in Wales, a deal which was revealed in an official announcement by the Welsh First Minister Rt. Hon Carwyn Jones. The site is next to the new Circuit of Wales at the Ebbw Vale Enterprise Zone and will create up to 150 jobs. It will pioneer a high tech new production process conceived by Gordon Murray called iStream, which is designed to be as automated as possible and to allow small scale producers to minimise costs.

The Welsh Government has made an undisclosed contribution to TVR's investment in the new plant, which joins the Aston Martin facility at the St Athan former air force base to position Wales as a burgeoning centre of engineering excellence. South Wales, with the support of the Welsh Government, is fast becoming a hub of new business development for motorsport and automotive technology.

TVR has commented that the site's proximity to the planned Circuit of Wales track was a major selling point in its favour, allowing the firm to introduce buyers of the new car to its dynamic potential in a safe and exciting environment, in the style of Silverstone's Porsche Experience Centre. The Circuit of Wales will also run international motorsport events.

The new TVR

Little is known about the car itself at this stage, except that it is designed to appeal to sports car purists with a naturally aspirated engine derived from the Ford Coyote 5.0 litre V8 and tuned by Cosworth, in conjunction with a manual gearbox. The design brief included a commitment to TVR's traditional values, so expect a two seater coupe and/or convertible. A competition version will be entering the Le Mans 24h endurance race. TVR has, apparently, already taken deposits from some keen customers.

A new era for TVR

The company was founded in Blackpool in 1947 by Trevor Wilkinson. It became known for its sleek, muscular but lightweight sports cars. TVR has changed ownership a number of times over the years and suffered some dramatic financial ups and downs. The 1980s, with Peter Wheeler at the helm, was a relatively successful period which saw the production of the Cerbera, Chimaera, Griffith, Tamora, Tuscan, Typhon, T350 and Sagaris models.

However, by the early 2000s demand had fallen and TVR was sold to a young Russian businessman named Nikolay Smolensky. The next few years saw a chaotic round of corporate shuffling and TVR production came to a full stop.

In 2013 there was some good news for automotive fans as the Syndicate of British Businessmen, led by Les Edgar with John Chasey, reported that it had bought the rights to and ownership of TVR from Smolensky. The new TVR Automotive Ltd's first move was the TVR Genuine Parts initiative, guaranteeing the supply of classic TVR parts globally, taking over from a disparate group of licensed parts suppliers. By 2014 the company had conceived a ten year plan for at least four new models.

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