The TVR Griffith is back and uses Gordon Murray’s iSteam architecture as well as a highly-strung V8 capable of providing a 200mph top speed. Here is what we learned from the Goodwood Revival reveal.
British manufacturer TVR is hoping to make a successful comeback (for once) with a brand new version of the Griffith, marking the third time the model name has been used ─ the first in 1963 and then again in 1991.
The new TVR Griffith is here because of entrepreneur and video game legend Les Edgar (games he helped create include Populous and Theme Park), with help from F1 legend Gordon Murray and his iStream architecture that underpins the British supercar.
TVRs have always been known for being fast and unruly and the new Griffith should be no different. Cosworth has taken the 5.0-litre Ford Mustang engine to new extremes, with 500bhp available at full tilt.
Factor in a weight of 1,250kg and you get a car with 400bhp per tonne. That makes it substantially lighter than an Aston Martin V8 Vantage and Jaguar F-Type, not to mention smaller than a Porsche 911 thanks to dimensions of 4,134mm in length, 1,850 in width and 1,239mm in height.
Keeping the weight so low is partly achieved by the iStream underpinnings, never used before on any production car, which helps make the manufacturing process simpler (and therefore cheaper) and offers carbon fibre strength and rigidity.
0-100mph will take around six seconds, while the top speed is a laughably fast 200mph if you can find a long enough road. Both will require you to change gear as only a six-speed manual gearbox is available.
Not only is the new TVR Griffith painfully fast, it should actually handle. In theory, anyway. The weight balance is 50:50 and the underfloor of the car is completely flat, which helps with balance and aerodynamics, respectively.
As for the steering, it’s a fully electric jobby, while braking is the job of six-piston calipers and 370mm discs up front and four-piston calipers and 350mm discs at the rear. Tyres are 275/30 on 20-inchers at the rear and 235/35 on 19-inchers at the front for keeping the agility up.
Though the numbers suggest this is a car you could easily wrap around a lamp post, the new Griffith does have ABS because of safety laws, making older cars more dangerous. We can only hope it’s more reliable, too, as TVR ownership could be painfully expensive.
In fact, ‘civilised’ is actually what Les Edgar and his team wanted, which is why the interior is much less ridiculous. Buttons in sensible places, comfortable ergonomics and a portrait touchscreen display contribute to a more practical cabin although it does still look rather special.
As for the exterior, there is something more sensible about that too. The front-end is somewhat Japanese, which may put some TVR purists off, but that back end is almost as aggressive as the bullet hole-ridden Tuscan. Give it time is all we can say.
TVR has said almost all of the 500 Griffith Launch Editions have been sold, but we have heard the actual figure is much lower. Either way, £90,000 for old-school V8 brutality with a more sophisticated edge will be hard to resist for any petrolhead.
Unfortunately, it will be around a year before Griffith production begins. Here’s hoping TVR lets us have a go long before then because the suspense is already killing us.