On its looks, we felt there was “universal acclaim” for the attractive lines of the TR7 Drophead. “It achieves a degree of simplicity of styling in spite of heavy bumpers,” our tester wrote. “The wedge shape and raked screen give an impression of speed.”
Fortunately, there was substance to back up the style. “Those shapely lines and the swept-back windscreen would look rather silly if the TR7 did not have the performance they imply,” said our man, who found that the TR7 possessed ample acceleration for swift overtaking or tackling hills. We also thought there was “good spacing of the gear ratios” and the engine had “a wide range of useful revs”, pulling strongly and very smoothly as it did from about 1500rpm right through to 5500rpm.
Our tester thought that the gearlever was well positioned and easy to use, too. “It’s ideally placed for the driver’s left hand to fall naturally from the wheel straight on to it, and the gearchange is very light and smooth in action,” we said.
We also found that the TR7 understeered. “Cornering behaviour is consistent and reassuring until the car is pushed hard through corners,” continued our tester. “The general feel of the handling remains easily manageable, though, and the driver has confidence to corner hard without feeling that the car will respond unexpectedly and catch him out. Even when cornering very fast there is a minimum of body roll, helped by having an anti-roll bar at each end.”
We felt that the steering, meanwhile, was impeccable: precise and responsive to the smallest steering input.
“The driving position,” our tester said, “is exceptionally comfortable, with the chubby little steering wheel set at ideal arm’s length for most drivers, and with generous leg room and a range of seat adjustments.”
Elsewhere inside, we observed that the minor controls “are well arranged” and “the instruments clearly marked”.
Our verdict of the TR7 surmised the positivity: “It is in its all-round behaviour that the TR7 appeals, and although some of its competitors may match it for ultimate handling or offer a little more performance, it certainly achieves a very good blend of sporting handling with comfort, performance with economy, and interior space with external compactness. Though not cheap, it is also reasonably competitive on price.”
Previous Throwback Thursdays
2 April 1986 - Figuring the MG Metro 6R4 rally car
10 March 1979 - A Rover SD1 with a difference
4 September 1996 - The original Porsche Boxster driven
5 April 1986 - Audi Quattro vs Porsche 944 Turbo
16 May 1987 - Ford Escort XR3i Cabriolet
17 October 1981 - The £12,000 baby Aston Martin
16 January 1985 - The launch of the Sinclair C5
15 April 1960 - Porsche's four-cylinder roots
17 August 2004 - The Honda NSX's last hurrah
11 October 1986 - Hyundai's second UK market foray
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