TVR Tasmin

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TVR Tasmin
TVR 280i
TVR Tasmin (280i).jpg
Manufacturer TVR
Production 1980 - 1984 (Tasmin) [1]
1984 - 1987 (280i) [1]
Designer Oliver Winterbottom
Body and chassis
Class Sports car
Body style 2-dr coupé
2-dr convertible
Layout FR layout
Platform TVR Wedges
Engine 2.8L Ford Cologne V6
2.0L Ford Pinto Straight 4
Transmission 4/5-spd MT
3-spd AT
Predecessor TVR 3000M/Taimar
Successor TVR 350i

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.


TVR Tasmin Convertible
TVR Tasmin 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.

The engine was the Ford 2.8 Cologne V6 with Bosch fuel injection producing 160 bhp (119 kW; 162 PS). An automatic gearbox was available, making it the first TVR to have this as an option. While the styling of the car was by Oliver Winterbottom who had previously styled the Lotus Elite S2, it bears a striking resemblance to 1971 Ital Design concept car, the Alfa Romeo Caimano, from the waist rail down being mistakable for the same car. Beside the Cologne V6 engine the Tasmin was also available with a 2.0 litre Ford Pinto. This car, presented in late 1981, was called the Tasmin 200 and was an attempt to make a car cheaper than the standard Tasmin 280i.[2] It was priced at under £10,000, but with an engine producing only about 100 bhp (75 kW; 101 PS) it wasn't a big success. Only 16 Tasmin 200 coupes and 45 convertibles were made in total.

TVR 280i coupé (US spec)

In 1981 a series II car appeared, a vast improvement over the series I. In 1984 the Tasmin name was dropped and the car was renamed TVR 280i, although the name remained in use within the TVR factory. Early 350i's were also referred to as the "Tasmin 350i".[3] TVR's consistently inconsistent badging policy resulted in the cars appearing as Tasmins, Tasmin 280i's or just plain 280i's as the Tasmin name was dropped.

The 2.8-litre "Cologne" V6 had already been certified for US sales, and thus TVR returned to the US market after a six-year hiatus.[3] The Tasmin was the last TVR to be exported to the United States, with the last car brought over in 1987, this being a series II 280i. A number of reasons are cited for TVR's withdrawal from the US. These allegedly include a deteriorating relationship with the import agents and the distribution network, warranty problems and liability insurance premiums rising from $160K to over $1M.

The Tasmin did not start out very strongly, with TVR production reaching a low of 121 in 1982. By 1985, yearly production had increased to 472.[4] In total, 1,167 V6 cars were produced.


Series II TVR 280i Convertible
Abandoned TVR 280i Convertible
Abandoned TVR 280i Convertible rear

Tasmin 280i

  • Engine: Ford Cologne V6
  • Engine Capacity: 2792 c.c (2,8 Litres)
  • Power Output: 160 bhp (Series 1), 150 bhp (series II)
  • Torque Output: 162 lb⋅ft (220 N⋅m)

Tasmin 200

  • Engine: Ford Pinto straight 4
  • Engine Capacity: 1993 cc (2.0 L)
  • Power Output: 101 bhp (75 kW; 102 PS)
  • Torque Output: 112 lb⋅ft (152 N⋅m)






Tasmin 280i

  • Acceleration 0-60 mph (97 km/h): 8.0 seconds, 8.2 seconds (automatic gearbox)
  • Top Speed: 130 mph (210 km/h) (Series 1), 128 mph (206 km/h)[3]


Weight: 1,074 kg (2,368 lb)

Tasmin 200

  • Acceleration 0-60 mph (97 km/h) : 9.0 seconds
  • Top Speed: 110 mph (180 km/h)


  • Weight: 971 kg (2,141 lb)


  1. ^ a b Martin Lewis, A-Z of Cars of the 1980s, Bay View Books Ltd, 1994, page 142
  2. ^ G. N. Georgano, ed. (1985). Encyclopedia of Sportscars. London: Bison Books. p. 187. ISBN 0-86124-222-X. 
  3. ^ a b c Mike Lawrence (1991). A to Z of Sports Cars. Bideford, Devon: Bay View Books. p. 313. ISBN 1-870979-81-8. 
  4. ^ James M. Flammang (1994). Standard Catalog of Imported Cars, 1946-1990. Iola, WI: Krause Publications, Inc. p. 619. ISBN 0-87341-158-7. 

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