We caught up with TVR CEO Les Edgar at the 2017 Goodwood Revival to talk about the new TVR Griffith, America, and Le Mans.
Motor Authority: How is production coming along at the new Wales facility?
Les Edgar: We have the building—or at least the shell. The Welsh government will deliver that to us next year. The process for fitting with our equipment is straightforward…we expect that’ll take a few months.
MA: And you’re expecting delivery in 2019?
LE: We’re expecting all cars to be delivered in 2019. That’s assuming a start of production in early 2019.
MA: How close is this new Griffith that you're showing off to a fully production car?
LE: That’s a fully drivable, fully complete car. It doesn’t have (anti-lock brakes). That’s because it takes about nine months to tune ABS to the car. It also has not been crashed. We know that this car—by computer simulation, which is within 2 percent of error—will complete a federal crash at 50 mph.
TVR chairman Les Edgar (left) and Gordon MurrayEnlarge Photo
MA: Why will it take 2 years for today's production car to make it into customers' hands then?
LE: You’d be surprised. For example, you have a crash test. If you fail the crash test you have to do it all over again. You have to allow a bit of a gap there. You have further development of the car—like I said with the ABS, that takes nine months. The development is surprisingly lengthy.
We don’t get hold of the factory until the middle or the end of next year. We then have to hire the people to fill it, we have to do a "pilot build" after that. A pilot build is where you build a number of cars—a dozen for example—then take them apart several times. It trains your employees on how the car fits together, it also shows if there’s any issues with production that might hold it up—that might be problematic. It might show any tiny engineering flaws, that process we hope will take three months—it may take up to six.
To be conservative…beginning of 2019.
LE: Surprisingly, it’s quite a low number. When we first started, we didn’t tell people we were doing it, we didn’t advertise the car for a long time. The initial deposit owners, my guess is 30-70 (30 percent current or previous TVR owners).