2004 TVR TuscanEnlarge Photo
Reports out of the UK claim the owner of the struggling brand, former Russian banker Nikolai Smolensky, has given up on restarting production of TVR’s awesome line of bare-knuckle sports cars and will instead focus on building wind turbines.
Speaking with Autocar, Smolensky has revealed that despite his best efforts to develop a new sports car for the TVR brand, soaring costs and high expectations from customers have made the project unviable.
In order to keep TVR, and any remaining employees at the company’s production facility in Blackpool, UK, busy, Smolensky is reportedly considering starting a new venture that would use the resources of TVR to build portable wind turbines.
It wasn’t an easy decision, Smolensky has revealed. He tried to make TVR a success with three different vehicles, all of which were in the prototype stage. They included a Tuscan Mk2 convertible powered by a Corvette engine, a Cerbera packing a BMW turbodiesel, and a new model said to feature an electric drivetrain.
“They all worked well, but the costs were high. We would have to sell them at between £100,000 and £200,000, which was too high to make sense,” Smolensky explained.
At one point, Smolensky is reported to have even contacted Caterham about a deal to build some of its cars, though this was seen to be unviable as well.
For existing customers of TVR, spare parts and maintenance services will be offered by independent firms Performance Engines, Racing Green and TVR Power.
For fifty years, TVR built quirky sports cars, by hand, in Blackpool. Known for their distinctive (and occasionally odd) styling, TVRs were among the most polarizing boutique sports cars ever built.
Fans of the marque loved its cars for the unique look and personality each TVR had, while critics panned them for spotty build quality and razor’s edge handling. TVR’s finest hour probably came at the hands of the late Peter Wheeler, who owned the company between 1984 and 2004, with Smolensky owning it since then.