New TVR 'On Sale In 2012' Says Smolenski

New MD-1 will be based on Tuscan convertible
New MD-1 will be based on Tuscan convertible
TVR's 'rebirth' could happen in the spring of 2012, according to the comments of the company's owner, Nikolai Smolenski, in an interview for Swiss car mag Revue Automobile.

The new car will be called MD-1 and, as we revealed back in April, the new TVR will indeed receive a 6.2-litre V8 Corvette motor with 638bhp. The MD-1 is based on the Tuscan convertible, but is a little lower and a little wider. It will run on 19-in wheels and there have been various other aesthetic tweaks and technical changes, though the fabric hood and windscreen are carried over unchanged.

But despite its technical relationship to the Tuscan, the MD-1 marks a clear departure from TVR's past, a point that the use of the 'Vette engine neatly illustrates. "We have stopped making our own engines," says Smolenski. "And I would like to draw a line under the Wheeler era once and for all!"

The TVR MD-1 had been scheduled for a launch at the Goodwood Moving Motor Show in July, but a falling-out between Smolenski and the company overseeing car's development put a stop to that. The car's development will now be finished in the UK by Brooklands-based AC Heritage, and should be completed by then end of the year. The car may not be produced in the UK, however.

"Production will be outsourced," Smolenski tells Revue Automobile. "We have received offers from Jimmy Prize in South Africa and plenty of others from England. [...] I would naturally prefer to work with firms such as Caterham or Lotus, but it's unlikely that the former would be able to do it, and the latter wouldn't represent good value for money. But it's equally possible that I wouldn't go back to the UK at all, and could set myself up somewhere in Germany."

Smolenski is sanguine about Revue Automobile's suggestion that a German-built TVR would disillusion a large part of its fan base: "Without doubt British fans will [be disillusioned]. Over there, everything is a bit odd. Within the European community, nobody asks for your passport at border crossings [...] it isn't very important whether you're based in Lancashire or Saxony. What's important is to remain faithful to your brand values: I'm a fan of the classic two-seater. I feel it's important that there is still a mechanical feel and the driving sensations that go with it. I respect the image of TVR."

But the MD-1 isn't the only new TVR in the works... a three-seat MD-2 is apparently on the drawing board, and Smolenski has plans for something "totally different and more imposing" called MD-3. As for the MD-1, it will arrive on sale in spring 2012, and roll out at a rate of 250 cars per year.

So, the new TVR is nearly here? "I've got nothing left to do but build it," says Smolenski. That's kind of the important part, Nikolai...

Comments (606) Join the discussion on the forum

  • HeMightBeBanned 16 Oct 2010

    The least offensive part of that article is the name for the car, which is rather uninspiring at best.

    No doubt the TVRistas are apoplectic with rage at a whole host of points raised.

  • andyp74199 16 Oct 2010

    Not exactly light at the end of the tunnel, but the corvette engine seems like a good idea, well proven etc. I hope MD... Is an internal coding system and they come up better model names!

  • tallmat 16 Oct 2010

    The guy sounds a right ar$e. What set TVR apart in it's latter years was that it was
    using it's own engines and the cars weren't just another hand crafted body around a mass produced engine.

    I know, I know, the engines had their issues and making small volume powerplants is expensive. And that TVR used Ford and Rover engines..

    But looking at the above, it's just yet another low volume sports car using a Yank V8. He'll need to find a completely new customer base. Should go down well on the rough roads in Moscow.

  • derestrictor 16 Oct 2010

    As an ex Blackpool Rocker and bar the extrnal appearance, there is nothing to distinguish a foreign built Trebor mint from any other foreign (built and/or owned) attempt at reprising the classic, British slant.

    It is the whole point of such things that without a comedy phallus adorning the uncarpeted bulkhead, the inherent, unique quirkiness of the ownership proposition is forgone.

    Actively desiring to forget the man whose epoch - however fraught - ultimately brought the name to the fore and cemented the very essence of TVR, defines the wrongness of it.

    It will probably be a huge success; again, bought by people who believe i-Products add value/have enriched their lives.

  • Aused 16 Oct 2010

    Smallendski sounds like a grade-A prat! I'm sure not many TVR fans will be willing to send money his way.

View all comments in the forums Make a comment