To understand why TVR’s will-they-won’t-they revival strategy is a source of such disquiet for many petrolheads, look back to the Sagaris, which served as the Blackpool sports car firm’s unplanned swansong and left such a pleasing taste in the mouth that any successor really must be delicious.
That revival, you no doubt know, has been anything but a painless process, and the Sagaris remains the newest road-going TVR that you can buy (unless the new company sees fit to sell its sole production prototype of the long-awaited Griffith Mk2…).
So, understandably, it commands strong money in all forms. As a result, you will struggle to find a tatty high-miler and can expect to pay at least £65,000 for a Sagaris with TVR’s fire-breathing Speed Six engine.
If you can stomach the purchase price, and forget about the brand-new Porsche 718 Cayman GTS you could buy instead, there’s a lot to like here. For starters, just as with the newer Porsche, the Sagaris packs a naturally aspirated 4.0-litre six-shooter (although of the straight variety, rather than flat) and, with up to 406bhp, it remains the most powerful such engine yet fitted to a production car. Second, because the Sagaris weighs little more than a tonne, it will scream from 0-62mph in just 3.8sec and top out at 186mph.
It’s obscenely quick, then, and belongs to that rare breed of accessible British sports car that prioritises dynamic thrills and raucous performance over, say, refinement or safety. Doing away with heavy metal bodywork and complex electronic driver aids was a big factor in the Sagaris’s bare-bones driver appeal, but you definitely don’t want to have a heavy shunt – which isn’t all that unlikely a prospect, given the unpredictability of its on-the-limit handling.
But enough negativity; the Sagaris is still plenty of fun at seven-tenths, and you can always book a track day to explore the outer reaches of its dynamic capabilities. Indeed, our testers welcomed the various enhancements wrought at the behest of then new TVR owner Nikolai Smolensky (among them stiffer suspension, less excitable steering and a longer-ratioed gearbox), proclaiming the Sagaris “the most accomplished and best TVR to date”.
If you’re tempted, it’s best to take action now: prices have rocketed in the past few years and look set to continue climbing, given the limited numbers that were produced.
Production ran from 2005 to 2006, and of the 200 or so built, recent data suggests that just half are still on the road in the UK. That said, we found a relatively healthy selection in the classifieds, ranging from a four-owner car with 58,000 miles to a two-owner example with just 13,000.