We sample a spanking new T350C. The signs are good!
TVR's T350C is hitting the streets already, only two months after its debutat the British Motor Show. Three dealer cars were delivered today including thisblack model to Hawthorns TVR in Farnham, Surrey.
As expected it's a car that looks even better in the real world than perchedon a motor show stand. Its squat, low appearance is not dissimilar to that of aPorsche 911's, but with a roofline more akin to early Aston Martins. It's thatroofline that makes it such a beautiful car. In these days of edgy styling, thelaunch of a car that is made up of beautiful curves atop a muscular body issomething to celebrate.
Inside the T350C, much of the trim is shared with the Tamora with the obviousexception of the boot. That capacious area is accessed by a glass rear windowmounted on some very stylish aluminium hinges at the top. Access is obtained bypressing the rear TVR badge and lifting the glass.
Inside the boot is the lever for opening the fuel filler cap. This is anotherunique piece of TVR styling, with the opening flush to the body until the leveris pulled. That rotates the cover out of the way revealing the opening to thetank. A toolkit is also located neatly in the rear panel.
With the engine running, it's apparent the work that has gone into theexhaust system. The Speed Six engine might be a smooth unit but the rapid burbleand rortyness to be sampled from behind is an indication of its intent. We can'twait to hear it in full song.
Driving away in the T350C, the first thing that strikes you is the rigidityof the car. With a full cage of tubular steel surrounding you, the car is stiffin a manner that most people won't have sampled outside of a race car. Thatrigidity doesn't mean a harsh ride however. It's a firm ride, but even withthose gorgeous 18" wheels, it's a comfortable one.
Noise insulation is good, with a little wind noise from around the A pillars,but it's certainly a lot better than on older models of TVR and cruising at70mph was quite relaxing. The engine noise isn't intrusive either. It's obviousthat there's something a bit special under the bonner in front of you, but itwon't make itself too apparent until you give it some stick.
Gently Does It
Despite wet conditions and a running-in red line of 3,000 rpm (10 miles onthe clock!), it was apparent that this car is going to be tremendous fun. Thechassis and suspension set up is much better developed than theChimaera/Griffith generation and it's the same with the steering. Fingertiplight steering means you can guide the car around with ease, but the wide tyresand tall wheels are still feeding back plenty of information to you. Thethrottle is very light and the engine quite free revving so winding this car upis going to be as much fun as reaching your desired speed.
TVR should be onto a winner with this car. As a sports car, it's got immensepower (around 350bhp), good handling, a communicative chassis and will be adelight to drive on track. As a practical every-day car, it's got plenty ofspace in the boot and it's reasonably quiet to potter about in or cruise at70mph+. Build quality seemed good, with only the fit of the rear screen needinga bit of fettling during the PDI that this car hadn't yet had. We suspect that there will be some minor detailing changes but all in all, it's a great step forward for TVR to produce such a car so soon after its debut.
It's good news so far and we look forward to trying a run-in T350C inearnest.
This car will be taking pride of place in Hawthorns' window over theChristmas break, with the showroom open again in January. Link: www.hawthornstvr.com