Nobody does bold quite like TVR. The company has been on hiatus since 2006, changing owners more than a handful of times from 2007 until now.
I remember being a youngster, playing video games and dreaming about seeing a TVR in person. Unfortunately living stateside that reality has never happened. The car has always struck a chord with me though. They were a perfect size, small but not compact. The drivetrain was always stout, well suited to their sporty size, and then came the styling. TVR didn’t know how to disappoint. Their use of lighting that resembled spiders eyes was revolutionary. The body panels had a flow to them that managed to be angular and rounded all at the same time. It truly was unparalleled by any other manufacturer. And it is finally back.
TVR Automotive Ltd, the newest owner of the TVR name, has been teasing a release of a reincarnated Griffith for a few years. The company stayed steady, built a new factory, and settled a release date. Coinciding with TVR’s 70th anniversary, that day happens to be today. And it’s sooooo good.
TVR has absolutely knocked the 2018 Griffith out of the park. No longer is it a roadster, instead featuring a sleek coupe design. Styling is classic TVR, bold in every sense of the word. While the headlights look slightly like a McLaren and the overall shape could be mistaken for an Aston Martin Vulcan, the TVR easily puts both to shame when you take in the entire package. All the little fins and vents add to that classic TVR look, while the new side exit exhausts and LED lights usher in a new era.
To go along with their epic return TVR enlisted British powerhouse Cosworth to supply the perfect amount of power. That means a 5-liter naturally aspirated V8 comes standard, bringing 500hp along with it. With the Griffith’s curb weight sitting at 2755lbs the car is now sporting a 400hp-per-ton power to weight ratio. Think of the Subaru BRZ, but with 500hp and styling that is actually appealing. But the real icing on the cake? No automatic transmission. That’s right, TVR is making all the right moves, and sticking with a manual is as true as it gets. The transmission in question is a Tremec Magnum six-speed, complete with a custom lightweight flywheel and clutch.
Interior is also classic TVR. That means it’s wacky in a charming way, the kind that makes you crinkle your face as you examine it. There are buttons in odd places, and yet it all seems so appealing. Even where the key would normally go is different, featuring what appears to be a wireless starter. It’s the quirks that made TVRs so appealing, and this Griffith is no different. Instead of gauges, you are presented with an LED screen that will likely be configurable to your taste. TVR then went ahead and finished the rest of the interior in two-tone leather, absolutely gorgeous.
The only thing that really isn’t true to form is that price tag, which has gotten exceptionally steeper. At £90,000 the Griffith doesn’t come cheap, but then again should it have too? 500hp, a 200mph top speed and looks that could kill all for roughly 119,000 USD? Sounds like a bargain to me. And apparently, I’m not alone. TVR has already sold out over 400 of their ‘Launch Edition’ Griffiths, a statement that completely blew my mind. Production is set to hit full stride at the end of 2018, meaning we will likely start seeing the Griffith on city streets in early 2019. Looks like I’m going to England in 2019, hopefully, then I will finally see a TVR Griffith in the wild.