TVR Tuscan

31 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on TVR Tuscan

The Beautiful TVR Tuscan

The Development of the Tuscan

The first TVR Tuscan was developed around 1967 and was the result of several years of development after Martin Lilley and his father Arthur acquired TVR following its liquidation in 1965. The original Tuscan was a V8 powered by a Ford 289 with 195bhp and 271bhp options. Less than 30 were made and most were sold in America.

Over the next couple of years the TVR Tuscan was remodeled; increasing the length to give more space inside and was released as the Tuscan V8 SE. Once again very few were built and half of them were sold in America.

A lesser manufacturer might have given up but in 1968 Lilley released yet another model. This time the Tuscan was even longer, wider and much smoother lines. However, sales were still poor.

At this point Lilley decided to give up on the Ford V8 and in 1969 released the Tuscan V6 using a 3 Litre Ford engine. Once again sales were poor despite the impressive torque and a top speed of 125mph. Between 1969 and 1971 only 101 cars were made, mostly for the UK market.

However, it was not until Peter Wheeler took over the helm in the 1980ґs that the development of the Tuscan we know and love today began. So lets take a look at the more recent incarnations of the TVR Tuscan:

Specifications

Engine

Five different engine options were available to customers. Four based on the 4.0 L Speed Six with varying degrees of power and torque. The last was an entry level 3.6 L Speed Six which was virtually as powerful as the lowest-level 4.0 L engine, but delivered less torque.

Engine Configuration:

Straight Six with four valves per trainDisplacement: 4.0 L (3996 cc) or 3.6 L (3605 cc)

Power and torque:

Tuscan: 360 bhp (268.5 kW), 310 ft.lbf (420.3 Nm)

Tuscan Red Rose: 380 bhp (283.4 kW), 310 ft.lbf (420.3 Nm)

Tuscan S (pre-2003): 390 bhp (290.8 kW), 310 ft.lbf (420.3 Nm)

Tuscan S (post-2003): 400 bhp (298.3 kW), 315 ft.lbf (427.1 Nm)

3.6 L: 350 bhp (261 kW), 290 ft.lbf (393.2 Nm)

Other than minor changes to improve aerodynamics the overall size and appearance of the chassis remains virtually unchanged since its inception.

In October 2005 the Mark II version of the Tuscan was introduced, although in reality their were only minor cosmetic changes. At this point a soft top option was introduced to complement the existing targa version.

Although TVRs in general often have a bad reputation regarding reliability the Tuscan has peformed admirably in one of the most arduous races on earth; the 24 hour race at Le Mans. The perfectly balanced suspension geometry, chassis and steering make it even easier to drive than previous models.

Although the Tuscan is without a doubt one of the most beautiful cars ever developed, every wave and scoop in the curvaceous body of the Tuscan has a practical purpose: the outlets in the bonnet serve as low pressure exits for the hot air from the radiator; the gurney above the boot lid and the splitter under the front grill jointly create downforce over both axles; and the low, swooping lip cuts through the air to improve the Tuscans aerodynamics and road grip.

The interior of the Tuscan is covered in perfectly stitched leather hide in any number of colours. The switchgear is machined aluminium and, as you would expect in a car of this type there is little room for the frivolous.

All of the switches and displays are perfectly positioned to avoid the need to distract the driver from the task at hand; going very, very fast.

The Driving Experience:

Turn on a Tuscan and hit the accelerator and you are treated to one of the most amazing sounds this side of a top of the range Bang Olafsen sound system. The Tuscan features two massive exhaust cans reminiscent of the old Ducati V-Twins of the late 70ґs and early 80ґs.

The drive is lively and I would not recommend taking a hand off the wheel once you are moving at anything like the pace this car demands. Having said that, the car feels secure no matter how hard you push it. In fact it absolutely begs to be pushed harder.

When compared to other cars with similar performance; Ferrari F430 and Lambourghini Gallardo to name but two, it is easy to see why the TVR Tuscan has such a hardcore fan base. The Tuscan, at 1100Kg, weighs a fraction of its competitors and its performance is virtually identical and all of this for about a quarter of the price.

0-30 mph: 1.73 s

0-60 mph: 3.68 s

0-100 mph: 8.08 s

100-0 mph: 4.15 s

Top speed 180 — 195 mph

It is interesting to note that the TVR Tuscan (like all TVRs) does not include traction control or anti-lock brakes. According to Peters Wheeler these features do not improve the performance or safety of their vehicles and has publicly stated that, based on testing and real-world driving experience, their cars are safer without them. Airbags are dismissed for similar reasons.

Claim to Fame

The TVR Tuscan was imortalised in the 2001 film Swordfish, in which John Travolta and Hugh Jackman use the car to get away from a pursuing gang of hit men.

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