TVR Teases Manual Transmission for Upcoming V8-Engined, 200-MPH Sports Car

The boutique British carmaker prepares to stick it to the automotive world.

The ghostly specter of TVR—the wayward British manufacturer of boutique sports cars—is set to rise from its grave and unveil its first new model in 12 years at the Goodwood Revival on September 8. The unnamed car will be powered by an old-school, naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8 engine from Cosworth, and now TVR has teased another detail that makes this car a rolling Throwback Thursday: an honest-to-goodness manual transmission.

Yes, it appears buyers of the hand-built, Gordon Murray-penned car will be able to row their own on the way to a sub-four second 0-60 mph time and a reported top speed of around 200 mph. It helps that the new TVR will weight around 2,750 pounds, thanks to a carbon-fiber chassis—chairman Les Edgar told Top Gear that the company is aiming for the best power-to-weight ratio possible.

Despite that, Edgar went on to say that the new car will be “more towards the Aston spectrum than it is Lotus.” In other words, more comfort and less open-linkage-shifter rawness. Edgar also added that his team looked to one of the company’s most iconic cars in designing their new model, the tiny-but-potent TVR Griffith 200.

The triumphant return of TVR has already made enough waves that they’ve reportedly sold out the 500-car “Launch Edition” production run, and they’ve had to put a hold on taking additional customer deposits until the car makes its formal debut. It helps that the company has achieved almost mythical status in its home country thanks to a near-constant cycle of death and rebirth that’s accompanied one of the more bipolar—and fascinating—production runs in history. 

Reflecting that, Edgar shared a story with Top Gear about how TVR’s previous owner, a Russian man named Nikolai Smolensky who presided over one of the company’s toughest stretches in decades (hence the 12-year gap between new cars), came to sell him the treasured brand.

“He was in Berkeley Square in London when a kid, who was walking with his father, came up to him, kicked him in the shins and shouted, ‘You killed TVR!’ I suggested we could help him repatriate the brand to the U.K. It was a bizarrely straightforward transaction after that,” he said.

So will this stick-shift sports car be a true return to form? We’ll find out on September 8.

“Even some of the most sophisticated supercars end up with the look and feel of homogeneous, industrial, mass-produced vehicles,” Edgar said in a press release. “Here at TVR, we chose to take a route that allows us to deliver a unique, hand-crafted and genuinely bespoke car.”