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Review: LHD TVR Sagaris

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dinkel

Original Poster:

24,354 posts

180 months

Wednesday 20th September 2006
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Beekman Europart Sagaris LHD

The first LHD Sagaris

Without no doubt the TVR Sagaris is one of the most extreme roadlegal cars of the moment. A good reason for Europart to buy one to promote their business. This car is eyecandy all over and it sucks crowds towards their decal-covered Chameleon Orange beast. Since May the first LHD Sagaris is a Dutchie and at the moment more are delivered to happy owners in Belgium, Italy and other European countries. Next series will have the (racehelmet) bulge back. Let's call this Saggy a series one and a halve then.



From the first moment this TVR was presented to the public the journo's were raving, EVO: ". . . crank down the window to better listen to TVR's irrevent disregard of political correctness." Top Gear Magazine: "It's faster than any TVR I've driven."
A car described as such and in my neighbourhood had to be paid a visit. So I mailed the guy who drives it and found out he lived just a 15 mins drive from my workadress.

The funny thing is that TVR is in some sort of crisis and inbetween moving from one to another location (we think ), a modernized factory compared to good old Blackpool avenue. New cars need to apply to Euro 5 or LEVII regs and in a well-sorted plant those standards are easier to achieve. Before the Sagaris S2 is sorted out, which will be somewhere in 2007, a handfull of cars are produced with some awkward detailing . . .

Like the smoothend up roof. Much to the owner's surprise BTW. TVR just did it, take it or leave it. The announcement of changing the exhausts from characteristicly sideways to bland straight had 14 customers to withdraw their options. Wow, you must really love the Sag to get one then . . . Err, no. "Just don't touch the exhausts or we'll withdraw too." Europart said. And Oxley left them right the way they're meant to be. Phew. Gorgeous. Thanx.

So there we were, standing in front of a very low and very wide and very agressive looking orange - Dutch national color - Sagaris series one and a halve.



The black devil
A year ago, september 17th at Blackpool a/d Rijn, I saw this baby for the first time. Dutch TVR dealer Nimag had a lushious Tusc Mk 2 and a black devil RHD Sagaris at display. As much elegance and grandeur there is to the Tusc, so much 'in yer face racyness' is the Sag. This car looks like a machine still under development. But it isn't. At the moment this is the best car TVR has made yet. And it's very well made indeed, it has the reliabillity-programme coming with it and it looks the absolute nuts. Next to a Boxter it's from a different planet.

The conceptcar's nosecuts were open. Imagine the claims TVR'd get when roadtrash would mash up the Sags internal bits. Now only the Tuscan-Challenge cars have open vents. But they're totally different cars really. Only the lightweight bodies are Sagaris, mounted on a 450 hp AJP8 powered race chassis. Sounds like good fun though.



You don't have to be a regular SpecSavers client to see this Chameleon Orange Sagaris lacks the charateristic racehelmet roofbulge. The handfull inbetween series now delivered, all have flat roofs and the funny thing is: next 2007 cars will have the bulges back. New Sparco seats will offer a far better support because what's in now doesn't hold normal proportioned humans that well. At speed and in the twisties I was thrown about and that isn't a good thing in a hardcore sportscar. As a passenger I've no complaints at all but behind the wheel I couldn't find a proper position. And I'm just 1.86m . . .



Inside the interior is a bit hate or love. I love it. The dials are a spicy bit of TVR's bloody-mindedness. The speedo goes clockwise and the rev-o-meter goes anti-clockwise. There are some buttons for windows and radio and that's about it. There are no electronic 'helpers' like ABS, airbags or traction-control. You have to drive the car all by yourself. Which is a good thing. I wouldn't have it another way. Especially because this TVR is so damn talkative when driven.
For a roadlegal trackcar the Sagaris has quite a lot of comfy bits in: aircon, leather interior, brushed alloy knobs, inboard pc, CD / DVD, satnav and enough space in the gorgeous boot to put luggage for a long weekends trip to Paris, or wherever. With a medium rightfoot it'll take you up to 285 miles for the next gasstop. In the best GT-style the Sag will bring you everywhere you like, and in great comfort.

Check out the startup-procedure: key in, and both clock's needles swung either way accompanied by a hip technodrone. The inline 6 came to life, baffled a few quick revups and rumbled along like a Merc Van: very elegant sir! The 1078 kilo's were shaking under the power of the mighty Speed Six mill. Within the first few yards it became clear this mean looking orange bullet is a cosy downtown-ride. I started wondering what'd happen if all 380 horsies hit the rear-axle.

dinkel

Original Poster:

24,354 posts

180 months

Wednesday 20th September 2006
quotequote all


The kick inside
I always like the first ten minutes in a new car to get accustomed and familiar with the specific sounds and habits. It's funny but this TVR felt a bit like a TR4. The unfinished and bold feel, the lack of elegance and the awkward behaviour of it all is typical TVR hence British. It's honest and direct and not at all frightening or intimidating. This is a fun car to drive. A very quick fun car that is. Nuff of my house chamber philosophies. Ten mins are over and it's time to raise some hell!
Some say TVR'll need a V8 to use in their sportscars but I'm not so sure. This 4 litre 6pot has the classic Brit 'Jag D-type at Le Mans' exhaustnote and it suits this hipo-tourer spot on.



Hit the pedals hard and we were looking at triple digits within 8 secs. Name me a 113k euro car capable of doing that (omit the kits). Windtunneltesting did the Sagaris good. It took a speed of 90 mph for me to realise my window was still unclosed. Good job lads. Topspeed is about 190.

But we didn't take her that far. Shifting at 5k and before noticing we were doing things highly illegal. Cloverleaf drives were a deadeasy job at 75 mph. Thanx to the heavy traffic ahead we still have our licences today, but when the occasion was there a shift back banged the Sagaris forwards up to 125. Shifting to four and with a whooping engine the rightfoot pauzed at 150, when a clattering hood caused a typical TVR-moment.

All this progress is without irritating wind noise. Hail, hail to aerodynamics. The added racy bits like the transparent Gurney flap and the diffusor have a purpose. The car is glued to the tarmac. With big phat Pirelli's ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAUli6wYdCE ) the Sag does look great, although you have to like the Spider wheels. Here they're even yellow.

Performance is there for the taking but can be tailor fitted. Choose a close-ratio box, a 3.46, 3.73 or 3.91 final-drive or a suspension set-up of your choice. Anything to meet the drivers needs.



Just look at it
The engine is up front and close to the driver's. After a nice hour of high speed cruising the mills pleasant warmth filled the cockpit. Time for a stretch and a bit of digital shooting. We parked our TVR at a T-junction on some deserted industrial area. Immediately a bunch of Clearasil punks came to us, attracted like flies to a jar of jelly. Big stories, celphone-photography and all that. Things got more serious when an all leather guy parked his big Jap bike next to the Sag. "WTF is this?", and Dink cascaded . . .



When Arnoud took over I unscrewed my pola to gain a few stops of light. With the early eve's decreasing sunlight I needed every bit to catch some nice details. "Why don't you have a seat Dink?" Well, allright. I've tried and was massively dissapointed. I can look over Arnoud's head and he is perfectly comfortable at the Sagaris' steeringwheel. But with my 1.86 metres of Dutch clumsiness I couldn't find a right position. Neither the wheel nor the pedals allowed me have a proper seat. I felt like a dad demonstrating his kids toytractor . . . Much to my surprise Digga951's 350i gave me all the support and a perfect seat. I could even drive his wedge without the leather in the hindmost position. But that's another story (Soon, after the Lancia Fulvia review).



Finally . . . I'd like to thank Arnoud and Europart for this occassion. I'd a wonderfull time in this thoroughbred ride. Which is one of the fastest and most blood-curdling sportscars of the moment BTW. Wow, my first TVR and I'm hooked. Hairychested my arse. They're made to handle. Men aren't. So that makes TVR's female, just like Lamborghini's.



Cheers, Dink, September 2006

Next: Lancia Fulvia Zagato Sport 1.3S, Digga951's TVR 350i, my dad's first car (Wolseley 16/60, found back after 26 years!), TVR Grantura, Maserati Mistral 4000, Gun Metals TVR SEAC 420, Jaguar Etype vert, Wim Klassiekerrally's Morris 1.3 and the list is growing.

DJC

23,563 posts

158 months

Wednesday 20th September 2006
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You can get 300 miles from a Sag's tank You are on fumes and a wing and a prayor though.

Discovered that one at about 3.30am in the middle of France

GTRene

10,954 posts

146 months

Wednesday 20th September 2006
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Great write up meastro What that 6cm can do to a manhehe I'm 1.80mtr think I will fit properly in that car(as I also did in my 2 TVR cars I've owned)
Guess the seats are a bit better then the griff but also heard somewhere that they can do much better..?
thanks
GTRene

900T-R

19,983 posts

179 months

Wednesday 20th September 2006
quotequote all
Something weird going on here - I'm 1.89 m tall and the black demonstrator Saggy suited my frame perfectly. I think TVR would very much need to bring back the roof bubble then, if they ever want to sell one to me!
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sideways mostly

2,681 posts

163 months

Wednesday 20th September 2006
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Well done Dink.
You captured the TVR mood very well!

klassiekerrally

2,543 posts

177 months

Wednesday 20th September 2006
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I didn't fit in the TVR2500M I wrote a review about.
Did it matter?

Are you kiddin'? Of course it didn't matter!
I had a great time driving it.

Same would apply to a hoon in the Sagaris I guess, though if I'd buy one, I think I'd want to sit properly...

dinkel

Original Poster:

24,354 posts

180 months

Thursday 21st September 2006
quotequote all
900T-R said:
Something weird going on here - I'm 1.89 m tall and the black demonstrator Saggy suited my frame perfectly.


Moving the seat an extra few inches backwards would make all the difference. But this one couldn't!

Just jump in when you see this car. Arnoud is a very nice guy

rpa.janwell

1,652 posts

159 months

Thursday 21st September 2006
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Dink, great write up, thank you!!

(183 is no problem!!)

dinkel

Original Poster:

24,354 posts

180 months

Thursday 21st September 2006
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Dutch read will be available soon: October issue of Dutch British Car magazine within weeks.

Thanx for the mails and nice words guys.

GingerNinja

3,955 posts

180 months

Thursday 21st September 2006
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I notice that the two people looking directly at that paintjob have had to keep their sunglasses on.

Edited by GingerNinja on Thursday 21st September 15:31

*Phoenix*

3,065 posts

179 months

Thursday 21st September 2006
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Awesome review!!!! clap

It really push's me to get one myself next year.... but I'm sooo in love with the need of a stallion as a daily driver...

Dinkel you have outdone yourself, well done mate!

dinkel

Original Poster:

24,354 posts

180 months

Friday 22nd September 2006
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'outdone myself' ?, I'm just starting up

I wonder: are there LHD Sag owners at PH?

dinkel

Original Poster:

24,354 posts

180 months

Wednesday 4th October 2006
quotequote all
Damn, Brit Car mag isn't out yet . . . Troubled waters and all. ;(

dinkel

Original Poster:

24,354 posts

180 months

Tuesday 17th October 2006
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Even worse: British Car magazine is in trouble WTF!

Why now, when I have a 9 page cover article with a spread of Klassiekerrally Winterswijk in . . . ;(

AARONM3

403 posts

138 months

Tuesday 17th October 2006
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I loved my time in a Sagaris when I borrowed it for a week from ecurie25. I've been fortunate enough to test (but not own, so not that fortunate!) a number of different cars including various Ferraris, an AMV8 and a couple of Gallardos amongst others and nothing matched the sense of occassion I got from getting into a Sag' and that low electrical hum you get before you start it up. It's the only car I was truly sad to see go.

Nice review btw.

M3John

5,974 posts

141 months

Wednesday 8th August 2007
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Dink, don't know how i never found this one before matey. I'm currently counting up the pennys in the piggy bank for a TVR and a Sagaris is on the short list. Well, after reading that i think you've made my mind up for me smile

dinkel

Original Poster:

24,354 posts

180 months

Wednesday 8th August 2007
quotequote all
Cheers John, are you a tall guy? hehe
Talk to Phil and let HIM convince you a sorted Cerbera is the TVR to have wink

M3John

5,974 posts

141 months

Wednesday 8th August 2007
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dinkel said:
Cheers John, are you a tall guy? hehe
Talk to Phil and let HIM convince you a sorted Cerbera is the TVR to have wink
Yep mate sure am, long John they call me hehe Seriously, 6` 2" myself. So you reckon our good friend Phil will convince me otherwise towards a Cerb?

touching cloth

11,706 posts

161 months

Wednesday 8th August 2007
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If he won't, I will