Written on: 08/05/2011
My Mk2 TVR Tuscan 3.6 is quite simply one of the best cars I have ever owned, certainly the best sports car I've had.
TVRs get a lot of bad press for reliability, so let's sort that out now; most of the rumours come from people who've never owned one, passing on negative comments (often adding embellishment) fouth- or fifth-hand. Yes there are bad ones, there are 'bad ones' of any marque; TVRs were handbuilt in a small factory, do your homework and buy one with some knowledge of the car and the marque beforehand. It's not a Vectra or Focus, stop expecting them to be!!
The Mk2 I owned felt much better put together than the Mk1 I compared it to at the time of purchase. The later cars were put together better IMO, and they certainly underwent more testing (the Tuscan 2, Sagaris and T350 underwent extreme climate testing under TVR's ownership by Nikolai Smolenski, somewhat of a first for TVR!)
I'll address the issues I did have with this car first. One loose ribbon cable for the LCD display (fixed by TVR Power alongside a service), one failed water temp sensor (also fixed by the above), a hair-line cracked radiator (thanks to the temp sensor failure) and a broken rear ARB droplink (which had been badly scored at some point, so not a manufacturing fault). That is all. Nothing major, nothing expensive and nothing worse than I've had on my Mondeo!
The car started every time, the windows and electrics always worked, nothing dropped off, nothing rattled, nothing leaked (and I did take out / leave it out in torrential rain on a few occasions).
It was a pleasure to drive, it felt more alive when stationary than some other cars I've been in at high speed. No ABS, airbags or TC mean it's all down to you, as it should be. You need your wits about you, but the Mk2 is a lot calmer than the Mk1; less skittish but as it is so light (only 1100kg) it can tramline / twitch a little on bad roads. I have taken it out in the snow also and it was easily manageable.
The noise is truly intoxicating and the speed is just incredible for the price of the car (I paid £30k). You really do have to get close to or exceed six figures to get something better. They do need to be driven often though, most of the ones that have problems are ones that are left in garages for months on end (and that advise is from people I know who work on them daily, so believe it!!)
The seats are comfortable and the lumbar support is air adjustable. Visibility is OK, but obviously not as good as the average family car. The boot is deceptively big, you really can get a lot in there (not that it matters!)
All in all, it is a truly awesome beast!! I only let mine go due to a very bad year business-wise a while back, and it kills me every day I open my garage door and it's not there. If you understand these cars and what they are about, I can only say buy one....buy one now!!!! :) Do your homework, buy a good one and DRIVE IT!!