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TVR S Published: 22nd Aug 2016 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

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Why should i get one?

Like the MGR V8, TVR’s S is a clever update of an old friend, modern where it matters yet still wonderfully retro with it. Based on one of TVR’s best ever designs, the M Series, the S uses the later Tasmin chassis which was designed and developed by ex-Lotus engineers. Power comes from Ford’s faithful V6 Scorpio engine or the evergreen Rover V8. Finally, and it’s purely personal, but unlike the showy Chimaera, the subtle S is far classier in our view.


What can i get?

There’s four derivatives which ran from the mid 80s up to 1994 when the car was replaced by the Griffith. The best is the V8s but the best value are the V6 models which, with 130bhp, are adequately quick and almost as much fun as the V8. In 1988, just two years after launch, the S2 was introduced featuring some styling tweaks, OZ alloy wheels and a special ‘Penthouse S’ edition in honour of that famous men’s mag! But the most important change was the adoption of the revised Ford 2.9-litre V6 Two years later came the S3 where the doors were lengthened by three inches to aid entry and egress. The suspension was also usefully retuned. The ultimate S has to be the 240bhp V8S because only 410 were made out of a total production run of over 2600 cars. A year later an improved V6 S4C was announced, which, apart from more styling changes, also benefited from the V8’s superior all-disc brake set up.


What are they like to drive?

One well respected road tester said the S was more fun than many far more expensive supercars and his opinion is still valid decades on. All are full on drivers cars in a way that the MG RV8 isn’t. Despite its plush looking trim, the S isn’t as refined as it looks and tired examples will invariably feel loose (scuttle shake was a problem, even on new ones) on the move, but all are fairly practical and civilised when out touring. The S best excels when you are in a more of a hurry up mood because the car’s classic handling revives fond memories of Big Healeys in full cry although the cornering speeds and precision are obviously far greater.


What are they like to live with?

A TVR is a bit like a Lotus insofar that if you treat (or mistreat) one like an MGB then you’ll be sorry, but a well maintained one should prove reliable and as parts were sourced from many carmakers’ parts bin, there’s little that can’t be sorted. Parts supply from the newly reborn TVR company is pretty good, too.



It’s hard to find so much fun and exclusivity for comparatively little outlay. Good S’s can be had for £7-£8000, although it’s normally double this for the V8S, but what great retro roadsters they make. If you’re after driving fun then the TVR is for you, but if it’s a nostalgia trip – albeit it a sleep-easy one due to a typical MG back up – the RV8 is the better, more sensible choice.

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