Arguably, the Bush-era cars were bad. But I’m here to say that they were actually very good, because out of those years, we got the dragonish-looking TVR Sagaris—possibly one of the coolest and rawest cars ever made.
While the reborn TVR Griffith is impressive in its own right, I’m not sure the awesomeness of the Sagaris can be achieved again. From its 4.0-liter, naturally aspirated inline-six, it produced a neat 400 horsepower. It was a manual. It had no traction control. No ABS. No airbags. It weighed about as much as soccer ball.
As one does, I caught a rare glimpse of this beast when I was hanging out at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last year. Here are just a few other standout features I found.
Machined aluminum posts helped secure the Sagaris’s transparent polycarbonate rear spoiler. It looks incredible and does not block the driver’s view out the rear window, either.
Why be traditional and fit the Sagaris with rear-exit exhausts? Fit ‘em sideways, I say. Cars like the upcoming Griffith and the Dodge Viper also have side-exit exhausts, but those are behind the front wheels. These are behind the rear wheels, thus making them superior. There are even cuts in the body panel to make way for them!
TVRs generally had pretty bare interiors, and the Sagaris is no exception. The molded and rounded leather surfaces create some interesting shapes and no more. You get a minimalist steering wheel, a handbrake and a gear shifter that’s positioned close to the wheel.
You don’t need anything more than that.
You’ll notice that the Sagaris has what appear to be slashed chunks eaten out of its fenders. They look that way because, according to an old Top Gear clip, they were actual vents on the Sagaris prototype.
But then TVR’s engineers found that those holes were perfect for the tires to fling pebbles and dirt up through and hit the windshield with. So, rather than design a new fender, TVR just... filled in the holes.
It’s tiny, it’s incredible and we didn’t get it. Sad. What, like it’s unsafe?