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It's been 15 years since the Sagaris' introduction. Still nothing has matched its impact

By Matt Bird / Sunday, December 22, 2019

On the brink of a new year and a new decade, it's inevitable that we gaze back wistfully over the preceding years for significant events and anniversaries. And, well, this is PistonHeads, so there seemed no better occasion to celebrate than a TVR birthday.

It was at the Birmingham Motor Show - remember those? - back in 2004 that the Sagaris first made its debut, sending the automotive world into a delirious frenzy with its wild styling and performance claims. It entered production the following year, as you'll probably know, which means that 2020 marks 15 years since the Sagaris first hit the road. Fifteen!

Time has done nothing to diminish the Sagaris. If anything, its presence is now even greater, as TVR then disappeared from the automotive world and regular sports cars - i.e. those at less than six-figure sums - have become tamer and more sensible. Even with TVR returning to the arena, the Griffith - whenever it might arrive - is surely a less dramatic sports car, all these years later. For sheer attention-grabbing theatre, there's still not much to match a Sagaris a decade and a half on.

The recipe was familiar TVR, with a rampant straight six providing power to the rear wheels - and very little beyond a throttle pedal and steering wheel between them. Even in a time of less safety obsessed cars the TVR was pretty intense, so to drivers spoilt by modern machinery it may feel like juggling grenades on a skateboard.

Only the Sagaris was a bit different. Less lethal than previous TVRs, far more sorted and thus much more enjoyable, it arguably realised the genius of the TVR idea better than any other model, which made it such a shame that production was so short lived. Of course, the Sag still demanded considerable respect, and it was very far from perfect, but this was a TVR that felt the most like a sports car - rather than simply a UK muscle car - than any other before it.

That reputation, the incredible styling and the cruelly curtailed production run have ensured the Sagaris has remained in demand ever since its demise in 2006. This particular car is a later one, fantastically menacing in black and with 11 service stamps to support its meagre 24,000 recorded mileage. With a new clutch and set of tyres, it's surely ready to enjoy to the full in its anniversary year. Only maybe not in January or February. Perhaps March, too. And hope April isn't too wet...

At £70,000, today's Spotted is neither the most nor the least you'll pay for a Sagaris in 2019; while still the most expensive of the TVRs, it's surely also one of the very best and one of the most significant, signing off as it did that era of Blackpool bruisers. While the Griffith will likely be the car people look to when its reimagined namesake arrives, the Sagaris will be worthy of attention as well, because it's the act to follow. If the next TVR is a car as thrilling, exciting and demanding of attention as the Sagaris was, both for those inside the cabin and out of it, the new era will be off to the best start possible. Let's hope 2020 brings more of the news we want to hear about it...

3,996cc, straight-six
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 412@7,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 349@5,000rpm
MPG: Next...
CO2: 406g/km
First registered: 2006
Recorded mileage: 24,000
Price new: £49,995
Yours for: £69,995

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