TVR has come back from the dead after being on ice since 2006 when the company's then-owner, Russian billionaire Nikolai Smolensky, couldn't find a buyer for this characterful British carmaker. Smolensky had resisted bidders for a long time, but a group of investors led by Les Edgar recently made him a worthwhile offer for an undisclosed sum, and he's now reportedly a supporter of the brand's return. Edgar is part of a three-man executive board that will pilot the TVR brand back into the marketplace by 2015, starting with a lineup of two new cars that he recently talked about with Autocar.
The new models will stick to TVR tradition by retaining a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. Edgar described the first new model to Autocar as "a secondhand Aston," also noting that the new company will build cars that are as mechanically simple and free of electronic nannies as possible, keeping them in character with what TVR was building when it went under. That means cars that Edgar likes to call "supercars for the common man," with pricing that ranges from £50k to £80k. Edgar says the question of whether TVR will continue its tradition of developing and building its own engines is undecided, but doesn't think sourcing an engine from another manufacturer would compromise the cars' character. As for what the new models might be called, the new owner says he and his team may use existing names from the TVR fold, but they would still like to build all-new cars rather than merely update the old ones.
When Edgar and his team bought TVR, they received the company's name, design rights and assets, the latter of which includes Blackpool Engineering, a company set up by Smolensky that, among other things, contains a store of jigs, molds and spare parts for existing models. Edgar hopes to sell those parts and the company's service expertise to owners of existing TVR models. Once the business of selling cars, parts and service is up and running, he says breaking even could be a minimum of three years away, and if that all goes well, a return to Le Mans racing could be possible, as well.