TVR’s rebirth isn’t exactly going to plan

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TVR has lost exclusive rights to the Ebbw Vale facility where the Griffith is to be produced. Where does it go next?

TVR’s plans to produce a brand new Griffith sports car are stuttering to a slow, painful halt. Six years on from its debut, the V8-engined two-seater is still yet to hit the road, and the project has now suffered another blow; TVR has lost exclusive rights to the Ebbw Vale factory where the Griffith was to be built.

The news comes from South Wales Argus, which reports that TVR’s exclusive rights to rent the building have expired. The Welsh Government will now offer the facility to rent on the open market, and while that doesn’t completely rule out a TVR takeover, it’s likely that another firm will acquire it.

Ellie Fry, the region’s corporate director for regeneration and community services, said: ‘We’ve had a number of enquiries over the past six months for a building of that size – we will be definitely looking at all those enquiries.’

TVR’s rebirth has been led by Les Edgar, who took charge of the brand in 2013. The Griffith was unveiled four years later as a Porsche 911 and Aston Martin Vantage rival, underpinned by Gordon Murray’s innovative iStream chassis construction and powered by a suitably old-school 5-litre Ford V8. The Griffith looked promising on paper, with a projected 320km/h+ top speed and sub-1250kg target weight comparing favourably against its peers: if TVR could secure enough funding to build it.

The Welsh Government bought the Ebbw Vale facility back in 2017, and following a refurbishment, the plan was to hand the keys to TVR to produce the Griffith. Unfortunately, that refurbishment became a strip-down rebuild, stalling the project and making it less attractive to TVR’s potential investors. Work on the facility began in 2020, but following this latest announcement, there are no signs that TVR will go ahead with the takeover as planned.

The first Griffiths had been scheduled for delivery in the latter half of this year, but it now seems to be a matter of if – rather than when – it will ever become a reality.

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