The TVR Tuscan Speed Six sports car
A review of the TVR Tuscan Speed Six sports car, covering the development, important features and technical data of this classic car from classic to modern.
The Tuscan TVR
In 1997, the Cerbera was the first TVR to be equipped with the Speed Six engine, but the TVR Tuscan was the first sports car specifically designed to include this unit.
In fact, its long and wide hood was very reminiscent of that icon of the 60s and 70s, the E-Type.
The TVR Tuscan Speed Six Mark 1 sports car was launched in 1999 and was equipped with a 3.6 or 4-liter Speed Six engine, developing 350 and 360 hp respectively.
These were followed by the “S” (400 hp) and “Red Rose” (380 hp) variants.
In October 2005, the Mark 2 version was introduced with minor changes to the headlights and taillights, a slight chassis modification to improve handling, and a modified rear spoiler on the S model.
At the same time, a convertible was introduced to complement the original Targa.
The Mark 2 S and convertible were the final variants to appear, and were built until 2007 when TVR ceased production.
The external appearance of all the variants remained largely unchanged, except for the “S” model, which sported a front pan underneath and a small rear spoiler to further aid aerodynamics.
In terms of engine options, there were basically five available for the Mark 1 and 2 variants, from a 3.6-liter to the more common 4-liter, and finally the 4.2-liter R-Series.
All were equipped with multi-point fuel injection, a five-speed gearbox, and huge 11-inch disc brakes at the front and 11-inch discs at the rear.
An interesting feature specific to the Tuscan was an exhaust system in the same configuration as that found on a motorcycle. The result was that it saved weight.
The Tuscan sports car differed from the Cerbera in that the wheelbase was shortened by 205 mm when the rear seats were removed.
In addition, it was built in the shape of a Targa, with a roll bar positioned behind the seats.
The Targa top was stored on top of the trunk, above the luggage, while the rear window could be removed and placed vertically in the trunk, in front of the luggage, to create an almost convertible experience.
The body consisted of a composite material formed in the form of a honeycomb instead of fiberglass, as in previous models, thus saving about 30 kg of weight.
The use of composite body panels allowed for the creation of a very curved style, not possible with sheet steel or even, to some extent, fiberglass.
The cabin was lined with leather and legroom had been increased due to the presence of an inline six-cylinder engine instead of a wide V8.
Powered by a 4-liter Speed Six engine, it developed 360 bhp and produced a top speed of 180 mph, a 0-60 mph time of 4.2 seconds, and a 0-100 mph time of 9.5 seconds.
It used a five-speed Borg Warner gearbox and had a good weight distribution of 51:49, front to rear.
It lacked ABS and the springs were too soft to cope with an uneven road, but produced good handling capabilities on normal surfaces.
Also, at speeds above 150 mph, there was a tendency for the front end to become light and start to snake, creating a problem keeping the car in a straight line.
The TVR Tuscan S
The Tuscan S sports car used a modified 4-liter Speed Six engine incorporating wilder camshafts, lighter connecting rods, and a massive 12.2: 1 compression ratio.
Developing 390 bhp and weighing 30 kg less than the standard Toscano, the “S” produced a top speed of 190 mph, a 0-60 mph time of 3.9 seconds, and a 0-100 mph time of 8.9 seconds.
The front suspension geometry was modified, larger brakes were installed, and the springs and dampers were improved to overcome the soft suspension on the standard variant.
The TVR Tuscan R
The creation of the Tuscan R sports car was likely the result of the failure of the Cerbera Speed 12, the 7.7-liter V12 racer that developed 800+ bhp, but had limited success on the track, while the road version was scrapped. . .
Peter Wheeler, the owner of TVR, wanted to build another supercar based on the Tuscan Racer chassis, with a wider track and a 200mm longer wheelbase, to improve cornering and increase high-speed stability.
The two versions of the Tuscan R were the T400R and T440R, powered by a 4 and 4.2 liter Speed Six engine, developing 400 hp and 440 hp respectively.
The bodywork of each was a carbon fiber composite that weighed just 1060kg, which was 400kg lighter than its competitor, the Porsche 911 GT2.
Plus, with a carbon fiber reinforced drivetrain and aluminum honeycomb floor, the chassis was at least twice as firm as the standard Tuscan.
Equipped with a six-speed semi-automatic gearbox, the T440R produced a top speed of over 200 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 3.7 seconds, with a 0-100 mph time of 8.4 seconds.
Ultimately, this was the first TVR sports car to undergo wind tunnel testing, producing a car with a drag coefficient of just 0.32.
This marks the end of my TVR Tuscan Speed Six Sports Car Review.
I will review in some detail, in future articles within this website, the entire range of TVR sports cars that were featured in the memorable era spanning from 1946 to 2000+.
I hope you join me in my Reviews.