TVR, the once-dead manufacturer of delectably insane British sports cars, is on the verge of a revival after being sold to a consortium of new owners. The bad news is that they're all newbies to the car business; the good news is that they seem to know what TVR is all about.
Two new stories from the UK's Autocar shed light on the new plans for the company as led by computer game entrepreneur, Cerbera owner and racing enthusiast Les Edgar. First, they have the optimistic goal of bringing two all-new sports cars to market by 2015 that could cost between $75,000 and $120,000.
Edgar, his two executives and team of investors say they know what they want out of TVR: powerful front-engine, rear-wheel drive cars that go real fast, Autocar says. They aim for the car's closest rival to be a used Aston Martin. This part of the story really struck me:
The plan is to make them as simple and free of electronic gizmos as possible — these are not Jaguar F-type rivals — and concentrate on performance, driving factors and character.
If you'll excuse me a moment, ladies and gentlemen:
Ahem. Sorry about that, but it's very good to hear they have their priorities straight and don't want to turn TVR into some kind of bloated luxury brand or a maker of wind turbines like the last guy who owned the company.
A few other details from the story include that they could have a revised Sagaris back on the road by next year, but it's more likely they will do a new car instead, and those could very likely use some of TVR's great old nameplates.
However, as exciting as this sounds, we need to proceed with cautious optimism here. By Edgar's own admission, he and other managers are all businessmen, but they're brand new to the car business. Here's what he said in a Q&A with Autocar:
“None of us has ever built a car, but I’ve owned a lot of them and was involved in taking Aston Martin back to Le Mans. We have a fair bit of business know-how, we’re clear about the kind of car we want to build and we believe we can bring fresh thinking to the whole thing.”
Knowing what kind of product you want is one thing, but being able to build it, market it and sell it is an entirely different matter — especially in the auto industry. If there's anything we've seen in recent years from startups like Fisker or Carbon Motors or scores of others, it's that it is very hard to get a new car company off the ground, even if you have the right people and the right resources.
Edgar says this lack of experience is a plus because he and his team can bring "fresh thinking" to automaking, but I'm really hoping they can pinch a few veterans at some point to help them pull this off. I want to see this car on the road:
“They’ll be the kind of cars people understand TVRs to be: fast and powerful with great handling and a great noise. Put it this way: you’ll know you’re alive when you drive one.”
Check out the full interviews over at Autocar and let us know if you think Edgar can pull off the TVR comeback.
Photo credit FurLined