The Typhon was indesputably TVR’s most advanced car ever built. A revised and strengthened tubular chassis with integral full roll cage bonded in to a carbon fibre and aluminium honeycombe flat floor and impact zones with a fully bonded carbon fibre body. The car was incredibly lightweight (<1,100KG), longer and wider than previous TVR road car but immensely stiff and with professional aero design to ensure stability at the speeds it was built to be capable of.
The design took many of the lessons learnt when creating the Speed 12 and Cerbera Speed 12 race and road project and utilised modern composites and build techniques to take TVR very significantly into a new era of car construction. At the same time, other TVR road cars benefitted from a trickle down of new designs and enhancements from the project, such as the wider track dveloped for these cars going on to be used in the Sagaris model.
There can be no doubting TVR’s drive, at the time, to take their road cars to the next level and continue to be a force to be reckoned with on the sports car arena.
The construction of the car begins in an all too similar manner to all TVRs that have gone before. A spaceframe, backboned chassis is built on a jig.
The chassis has significant cross bracing over the engine bay, forward of the remaining section which will be bonded into the carbon fibre aluminium honeycombe floor and carbon fibre body.
A full cage is built into the chassis to add additional structural rigidity and crash safety.
Traditional TVR chassis’ have always suffered from twisting down the spine under heavy load, something which inhibits ultimate cornering ability and stability. Even the Tuscan Racers of the 90s with all their substantial cross bracing of the chassis can still be seen ‘cocking a leg’ when being driven hard.
The key to the Typhon design is that the floor is 100% CF laminated aluminium honeycombe which in turn is bonded into the steel chassis, over and into the spine and encompassing the entire rear section. The front of the car being fully open and covered by a removeable front end.
The lower image is a photo taken as the factory began building the T400R red car. It is our understanding that both the red T400R and the Fleetwood T440R used a more conventional aluminium honeycomb whereas the 4 cars built after made use of a CF laminated honeycomb which TVR made themselves for added strength.
The front end of the Typhon is a two part carbon fibre design. A legacy of the race cars and the need to be able to remove the bonnet in a hurry to service mechanicals.
It is attached to the undertray and CF bulkheads by a series of bolts and can be easily removed and lifted by one person, such is its lightness.
The second part of the boonet is a front service bonnet so as to reach the water and oil fillers without the need to remove the whole front end.
The body of the car is 100% carbon fibre. It is constructed around the steel chassis and the floor to form one single cohesive CF shell with structured impact zones.
This technique is a significant move away from the TVR traditional design of a fibre glass body mounted onto a backbone tubular chassis with out-riggers.
The design of the flat floor leaves obvious room around the trans tunnel section for access to the gearbox and drivetrain, but is otherwise sculpted to allow the free movement of air under the car with as little turbulance as possible, thus enhancing the stability. They needed the race cars to be able to run the Mulsanne Straight at 200MPH so as to be competitive against the Porsche, Ferrari and Corvette GT2 cars at the time.
At the rear a designed diffuser processes the exit of the air flow that assists in rear downforce. This is actually made of heavy fibre glass to add weight in this specific area.
Inside the Typhons the interiors were kept to a minimum. Ultimately each car was bespoke to the client and it was the client who decided all levels of trim. For example whether carpets were installed or the shell left bare showing the carbon fibre texture.
What the spartan interior allows you to see is how the floor and body is bonded around the chassis.
The Front End:
The engine bay area was heavily lined with heat reflective material, as was the trans tunnel to try and handle the immense heat that the super-charged 4.0 S6 engine was producing.
The chassis at this point also has significant cross bracing to enhance the rigidity of the car. Many of the race cars did not have this feature as it would have impedded access to the engine should the need have arisen.
You can see from the lower image that the two part bonnet section comes away whole from the chassis and body. At the same time you can see the large bulkhead butresses that the front attaches to that also form an integral part of the crash protection design.
The left and right individual air vents either side of the main rad vent were used to feed air to the intercoolers that were located in the wings on either side.