TVR. An exclusive brand that’s been synonymous with the world’s most powerful performance cars, both on the track and on the road, for some sixty years. Few marques conjure up the same sense of theatre and passion among their fans and followers, or fear among the uninitiated.
Step inside a carefully hand-crafted TVR and drive it, however, and one knows immediately the real truth: that there is much more to these British-bred beasts than first meets the eye, that they are paradoxical and that the truth goes far deeper than the cars’ antecedent notoriety perhaps implies.
Today, TVR’s prodigious power and performance is married to a new, real-world sophistication. But none of TVR’s character, flair or soulfulness has been compromised in making the cars more pragmatic; in fact, it is precisely because of the latest models’ profound capabilities and luxuriousness that the experience is enriched even more than ever before.
Combined with tantalising designs and an erstwhile driving sensation is a more distinguished refinement, both to the drive set-up and to the finish. The remarkable result is that every journey is an adventure that’s both cognitive and visceral. An adventure that awakens every sense, and even seems to evoke new ones.
Tuscan S Convertible
The mighty Tuscan now comes in the form of a spectacular new convertible, described in the press as being so luxurious it must have escaped the resistance of TVR’s accountants to get into production. It couples all of the breathtaking performance of the targa Tuscan with the exhilaration of driving a top-down sports car.
Its functionality has been completely redesigned as an original convertible, rather than simply a coupe with its roof taken off. And no expense has been spared in ensuring the progression of its pedigree. From the astonishing enhancements to its handling, to its remodelled new interior, this is close to motoring utopia.
Yet its elegant and sophisticated form belies its almighty agenda. Hidden beneath its sleek skin is a monstrously powerful beast that purrs when you want it to, and roars when you tell it to. The Tuscan convertible is a paradox: there is a charming courtliness to this brutish Bohemian.
With the newest development of the same straight six engine that propelled TVR to strong finishes in the grueling 24 hour race at Le Mans, the Tuscan out-performs the competition, while suspension geometry, chassis and steering developments make it even easier to drive than ever before.
Every wave and scoop in the curvaceous body of the Tuscan serves a practical purpose: the outlets in the bonnet serve as low pressure exits for the hot air from the radiator; the gurney above the bootlid and the splitter under the front grille jointly create downforce over both axles; and the low, swooping lip cuts through the air to help the Tuscan reach its ultimate potential.
The range-topping Tuscan S features a handling set-up and a phenomenal 380 bhp four-litre engine aimed more at the most sporting drivers, as well as a motorsport derived aerodynamic package. The S version rockets to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds and continues to storm to a break-neck top speed.
The Tuscan S has the removable roof section that stows across the top of the large boot.Also the rear wing is added for extra stability at the 185mph.But this all serves to break up the Tuscan’s smooth lines so the end result isn’t too pretty.The staccato make-up of the profile is in all in keeping with its aggressive character.
The 4.2 metre Tuscan S looks a much bigger brute despite sharing its platform with the Tamora.But this is happening thanks to relatively massive overhangs.
At the rear is The huge boot and the spoiler are at the rear while the nose is droped even closer to the floor with a low front splitter at the front.
Interior and Driving
With fluid leather-clad surfaces sweeping through the cockpit, enveloping the driver and housing sparse and distinctive machined aluminium switchgear, the interior is a minimalist TVR masterpiece.
Every piece of vital information, including the gear-change lights is displayed directly in front of you, as with all current TVRs.You needn’t move your eyes from the road for more than an instant to keep track of the vital signs.This is all designed with sporting intent.
With a tuned up version of the all-aluminum inline Speed Six engine, the Tuscan S is a four-liter, 390bhp (power creeps up a little further in the very latest cars )fire breather car.
The car will rasp straight through to more than 195mph, making even a hairs’ breadth gap a safe overtaking opportunity that needs to be taken, and it can storm from 0-60mph in 3.8s.
TVR felt it was an unnecessary and costly addition when the five-speed and twin-plate clutch cope perfectly well with this level of power, even if some may prefer a six-speed gearbox in a car of this ilk.
100mph in 2nd!
At 100mph in second gear the defining moment in this car came without the final red shift light, even blinking into life. This machine’s fondness for high speed and intoxicating engine note makes driving it a constant exercise in self-control and it was not by accident that the TVR test car came equipped with one of the most sophisticated Gatso detection units on the market. Journalists and would-be customers tossing their driving licences in the bin at the exit of Blackpool would be bad for business, and it would happen.
TVR spend a lot of time tuning the acoustics, but it looked for all the world like they strapped two massive cans to the rear allowing every rev to reverberate a little more, increasing the rumble to a roar that could wake God.The exhaust noise encourages sheer recklessness given anything approaching a clean stretch of road.
TVR pops and belches out the excess fuel under braking, spitting out minor explosions that could probably power a smaller car on their own.
Tuscan require concentration
The bucking steering wheel requires a firm two-hands on approach at all times.with a growing tinny roar, Tuscan just feels aggressive.The car begs to be driven harder whatever the speedo says, but it doesn’t suggests the TVR is about to pitch itself into the nearest tree.
The TVR proved extremely fleet of foot round the twisting roads of Blackpool. Before relaxing and drifting out to the exit the 18" wheels are digging in hard to the corner.
The car feels a little too eager to react so it’s a disconcerting feeling to begin with, but this is a relationship that improves with time and when you really need it most.
Compared to its major rivals from Ferrari and Porsche, its kerbweight of 1100kg makes it a serious lightweight. The car can change direction quicker than either. On the road nothing will prove too be much for this car, at least on a dry day but in the rain it will be a very different experience!
As you’d expect from racing spec brakes, the braking is awesome.The car has no ABS, while the fronts brakes are 322mm ventilated discs with four-piston callipers and the rears a single-piston sliding calliper clamps on to 298mm discs.Tuscan S can rearrange your organs under heavy braking, and the lack of weight comes into play once again as the car seemingly shoves its feet into the road and stops on command.The savage brakes fit the car’s character perfectly, even if it can lead to sensory overload.
The Tuscan is a hard man of sport and not a calm and confident machine, as some supercars are.The integral roll over bars contribute both to the safety of the car and the rigidity.
Today, the Tuscan S is a car that can compete with any car on the road.