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All-new TVR Griffith - full story on Blackpool's sports car

James Disdale
22 Nov 2017

TVR's first new model in over ten years looks promising - here are all the details you need to know

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After years in the wilderness, TVR is back with a bang. The British brand’s spectacular Griffith is the first all new model since the 2004 Sagaris – and the first since the company was bought by entrepreneur Les Edgar in 2013. Featuring a powerful V8 engine and rear-wheel drive, the Griffith has models such as the Porsche 911, Aston Martin Vantage and Jaguar F-Type firmly in its sights. It will also spearhead the firm’s return to motorsport as it targets a class victory in the Le Mans 24 hours.

On the surface the Griffith looks like a traditional TVR, but scratch beneath and you’ll find a blend of cutting edge tech and old school engineering. The former approach is provided by the use of McLaren F1 designer Gordon Murray’s iStream design and manufacturing process, which allowed the car to move from the sketch board (or CAD screen) to production ready reality in under three years. 

> Click here for our last drive of the TVR Sagaris

The hi-tech approach doesn’t extend to the engine, however, which is an off-the-shelf 5.0-litre V8 from Ford. The tried and tested unit isn’t the most advanced engine, but it’s unbustable and should go a long way to shake off TVR’s slightly shaky reputation for reliability. Better still, tweaks by British engineering specialists Cosworth are claimed to deliver even greater performance.

From a design perspective TVR owners of old will undoubtedly be happy with the outcome of the new model’s look – and name, it’s called Griffith – and it’s fair to say it’s a welcome antidote to the rather bland designs that litter our roads in 2017. The side-exit exhaust popping out from behind the front wheel is a design detail that wouldn’t look out of place on the original (1960s) Griffith and the smallest of rear-wings keeps the silhouette as clean as possible. 

Yet these additions are more than just for show, because under its clean lines the TVR boasts some fairly sophisticated aerodynamics. For instance, the side exit exhausts have allowed TVR to create an almost totally flat underside, which means the Griffith is effectively a ‘ground effects’ car. The only notable external addition is the rear spoiler, which has been added to boost traction at high speeds, which will be crucial when the motorsport version of the Griffith takes to the track

> Click here for our Frankfurt preview 

The carbon composite body is fitted over a steel and aluminium chassis with carbon composite panels bonded to the frame providing the stiffness and rigidity required - TVR claims the new Griffith has exceptional torsional rigidity and should tip the scales at under 1,250kg. In terms of proportions, the new TVR Griffith measures 4314mm in length, is 1850mm wide and 1239mm high, and putting that into context, Porsche’s current 718 Cayman measures 4379mm, 1801mm and 1205mm respectively.

Beneath the David Seesing-designed carbon body, and hung from the iStream chassis with its 50:50 weight distribution, are double-wishbones front and rear, with adjustable coil-over dampers and concentric springs. The steering is electric power assisted, while the brakes are 370mm ventilated and floating discs with six-piston calipers at the front and 350mm two-piece discs at the rear with four-piston calipers. The 19-inch front wheels are fitted with a 235/35 Avon ZZ5 tyre, the 20-inch rears with a 275/30. 

Behind the low-slung snout and wide opening is that Ford-sourced 5.0-litre V8 engine, similar to the unit you’ll find in a Mustang 5.0 GT. It’s not bog standard though as TVR ships all its V8s to Cosworth who fit a bespoke flywheel, clutch and dry sump lubrication and ‘substantially enhance’ the engine’s ECU to add not only more power, but to deliver a broader range of torque and power.

> Click here for the latest on the new Lotus Evora GT430 Sport

Although the first edition of the press pack quotes no power or torque figures, TVR's official video created in conjunction with Goodwood states the engine produces 480bhp. The press literature does state that the car will have a power-weight-ratio of 400bhp/tonne, but 480bhp and a kerb weight of 1250kg results in 390bhp/tonne, short of the claimed figure. We’re told the six-speed manual Tremec gearbox is rated to 700lb ft at up to 7500rpm.

Performance is something else TVR is being coy about, but it claims a 200+mph maximum and a sub four-second 0-60mph time. The car will also be offered with a variety of driving modes, too. 

If you’re a fan of TVRs of old you’ll be expecting an unconventional interior, and while the new Griffith isn’t on a par with its ancestors for the quirkiness and plain daft design details of old, it’s not an Audi inside, either. There’s a TFT instrument binnacle, rotary controls for the air-conditioning and even a keyless ignition system. The floor-mounted, aluminium pedals look suitably proper, too.

A strict two-seater, TVR will produce 500 Griffith Launch Editions, with production scheduled for late 2018 and the first deliveries expected in early 2019. Offered in a range of colours, including specific LE hues, a full leather interior will also be offered and prices will start from £90,000. TVR say there are a number of allocations for these first cars still available for those who want to know why so many of us have such a soft spot for TVR today, nearly a decade after the company produced its last car in 2006. 

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