As further proof that Russian owner Nikolai Smolenski is taking his stewardship of TVR seriously, the company has signed a ‘Heads of Agreement’ with drivetrain specialist Ricardo to develop the TVR Speed Six engine to meet Euro 5 (LEV II) emissions regulations. An emissions-compliant engine will allow TVR to expand into more overseas markets, as will the recent introduction of the first left-hand-drive Sagaris.
The developments are part of a general quality improvement process at TVR that affects all models both cosmetically and dynamically. Most of the changes are subtle, but the adoption of Sparco seats should answer criticisms of driver location during spirited driving, and a lot of work has been done with Bilstein to improve ride and handling. For the first time in TVR’s history all cars are now subjected to a full testing programme, and as a result the company now feels confident enough to offer a three-year/36,000-mile warranty.
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Despite recently re-engaging most of the workforce TVR laid off in April, Smolenski isn’t being particularly bullish about sales. ‘We will sell 480 cars next year, 250 of which will be for the UK. I prefer to reduce production numbers in order to focus on quality.’