Nikolai Smolenski didn’t have much luck when he took over TVR in 2004, but it seems this "baby oligarch" is planning a little bit of a comeback after he recovered ownership in 2007. TVR’s Russian owner announced that the company plans to build a new sports roadster that will use a Corvette engine; taking a little bit of an automaking shortcut.
“We looked at every engine available — including making our own — and decided that the Corvette was the most powerful off-the-shelf design going. Fitting it to our chassis allows us to meet all current regulations and is not too big a step.”
The new model will be built by Gullwing, which currently makes the AC MkVI, the successor to the AC Cobra. A prototype version will be unveiled at Goodwood’s Moving Motor Show in July.
Talking with AutoCar, Smolenski said that his new car will have a modified version of the traditional steel backbone chassis and all-independent suspension, same as all previous TVR models.
Also in TVR’s future plans there is a hybrid concept: "I always wanted an automatic model, but the chassis wouldn’t allow either a regular auto or an automated manual. The hybrid concept would allow us to kick out the conventional gearbox completely."
We’ll have to wait and see if TVR will be able to survive without its previous owner, Peter Wheeler and his Cerbera, Tuscan, Typhon, or Griffith. We’ll just call this round 2 of Smolenski’s attempt.