The TVR Tasmin (later known as the TVR 280i) is a sports car designed by TVR and built in the United Kingdom by that company from 1980 to 1987. It was the first of TVR’s “Wedge”-series which formed the basis of its 1980’s model range. The Tasmin/280i was available as a 2-seater coupé, as a 2+2 coupé and as a 2-seater convertible.
The Tasmin was the first production car in the world to have both a bonded windscreen and also to incorporate the aerial in the rear screen heater element. As with all TVRs, the running gear was located in a tubular spaceframe steel chassis which was powder coated for extra corrosion resistance. Much of the running gear was sourced from Fords of the period. The suspension and steering was sourced from the Ford Cortina, with TVR engineered trailing arms at the rear, similar to designs previously used on Lotus models including the early Esprit. Gearboxes were from the Cortina, Granada, and Sierra. Brakes were discs all round, with the front units from the Granada. The differential (and rear brakes) was from the Jaguar XJ-S. Ancillary components were sourced from a variety of mainstream manufacturers so it is possible to identify, for example, Ford Cortina external door handles; Triumph TR7 or BL Metro internal handles; front side/indicator lamps by Lucas with those on later models taken from the Renault 12 and the Peugeot 505; rear lamp clusters from the Ford Capri, Rover SD1 or the Renault Fuego; boot lid hinges from the Hillman Imp and ex-Jaguar ashtrays (or on later cars the ashtray from the DeLorean DMC12). The radiator was taken variously from the Ford Granada Mk2 and the Range Rover; front brakes could be ex-Granada in solid- or vented-disc form or the 4-piston calipers from the BL Princess (also a ‘wedge’ shaped car). The steering column and its associated switchgear changed over the years too: starting with the TR7 and proceeding through the Rover SD1, very late cars used the installation from the Ford Granada Mk3. The handbrake mechanism was that used on the Lotus Esprit. The headlamp pods were powered by individual motors lifted from the TR7/ Esprit. The original wheel design was specific to the Tasmin, being produced by Telcast in Telford. Later cars sported wheels from various makers including OZ. The seats were made by Callow & Maddox Brothers in Coventry, who also supplied other British car makers, hence the Tasmin seats appear similar to those used elsewhere but are in fact vehicle-specific, having a narrow but long base bolster.
In 1981 a series II car appeared, incorporating various improvements or modifications to the series I. These included a front suspension redesign, returning the tie-rods to the tension mode used by Ford rather than the compression mode into which TVR had initially installed them. This addressed frequent complaints of bump-steer. A bodyshell restyle also altered the proportions of the car (largely by tilting the previously-vertical glass tail panel) so it appeared shorter in the nose and longer at the rear; this coincided with the launch of the convertible/drophead version. In 1984 the Tasmin name was dropped and the car was renamed TVR 280i, although the name remained in use within the TVR factory.
TVR is alive again.
In April 2013, Les Edgar was able to lead a consortium of investors to buy the brand, intellectual property and all remaining assets of TVR and bring ownership of the much loved sports car manufacturer back to the UK under the corporate umbrella of TVR Automotive Ltd. The announcement of the acquisition was made to the world on 6th June 2013, coinciding with the 5th Anniversary of the passing of Trevor Wilkinson (1923-2008).
Some details about Tasmin 280i
- Engine: Ford Cologne V6
- Engine Capacity: 2792 c.c (2,8 Litres)
- Power Output: 160 bhp (119 kW; 162 PS) (Series 1), 150 bhp (112 kW; 152 PS) (series II)
- Torque Output: 162 lb⋅ft (220 N⋅m)
- Tasmin 200, 280i
- Front: Double Wishbones
- Rear: Semi trailing arms
- Front: Disc brakes
- Rear: Disc brakes
- Acceleration 0-60 mph (97 km/h): 8.0 seconds, 8.2 seconds (automatic gearbox)
- Top Speed: 130 mph (209 km/h) (Series 1), 128 mph (206 km/h)
Weight: 1,074 kg (2,368 lb)