The TVR Tuscan Speed Six first entered production in early 2000. The car has a novel removable hardtop that stores neatly in the trunk along with the removable rear screen, leaving enough space for two decent-sized suitcases. (or a couple of golf bags). Although the car’s curb weight is just 1,000 kg, such conveniences as air conditioning and power steering are still included. TVR’s own engine, the infamous Speed Six, is installed under the mechanically attached hood cover. Over time, TVR included speed six in all Tuscan derivatives in different states of tune:
- 3.6 liter Mk1 – 350 BHP and 290 ft.lbf
- 4.0 liter Mk1 – 360 BHP and 310 ft.lbf
- 4.0 liter Mk1 Red Rose – 380 BHP and 310ft.lbf
- 4.0 liter Mk1 S (prior to 2003) – 390 BHP and 310 ft.lbf
- 4.0 liter Mk1 S (post 2003) – 400 BHP and 315 ft.lbf
- 4.0 liter Mk2 (after 2005) – 380 BHP and 310 ft.lbf
- 4.0 liter Mk2 S (post 2005) – 400 BHP and 315 ft.lbf
- 4.0 Liter Mk2 Convertible (Post 2005) – 380 BHP and 310ft.lb
Unlike modern vehicle design techniques, TVR did not use any computer software, instead the vehicle shape was shaped by a team of TVR stylists, led by Damien McTaggert in close cooperation with President Peter Wheeler. In total, it took two years to finalize the impressive shape of the vehicles.
Designing a car in this way takes too long, however it offers certain advantages; It is seldom possible to control a surface on a computer as subtly as you can when sculpted by hand. it is commonly recognized that tools for mass-produced vehicles take longer to develop than the styling of the car itself; this is categorically not the case for a TVR-designed car.
Many of the features found in the car, features that make it so extraordinary, are included for solid engineering reasons, but they serve to enhance the overall appearance of the vehicle. As an example, the unusual bonnet arrangement (the main bonnet cover is bolted to the car) forms a slightly stressed limb that allows the engineers to steer the airflow very precisely. Also, the absence of gas hinges and struts means that the hood cover can be manufactured to be very lightweight.
In simple terms, it can be deduced that the exterior of the vehicle is flamboyantly contrasted and complemented by the interior, which is relatively minimal in concept. Function has once again followed form and the interior components are of the highest quality. An example of the interior function can be seen on the top of the curved aluminum dash that acts as one of the car’s transverse reinforcing beams.
An example of the original thinking of the TVR designers has been manifested in the instrument binnacle that is manufactured in-house. The original design allows a link between the log and the engine management system, which with its wide range of sensors that monitor various engine parameters, allows a wide range of data to be displayed to the driver. Readings can be easily selected using a brass rotary knob, allowing the driver to easily access the various data readings offered by the vehicle. Available data sets include fuel level, oil level, oil temperature, road speed, battery voltage, fuel pressure, ambient air temperature, and engine speed. . An additional feature is included at the top of the instrument binnacle in the form of graduated turn lights; The lights can be adjusted to communicate to the driver his preferred engine speed, allowing him to shift gears at an optimum point in the engine’s rev range.
TVR design engineers spent a lot of time developing the car seats. Many TVR owners choose to test the full potential of their cars on the race track. To that end, and because the built-in height adjustment is not practical in such a car, the seats have removable seats. This allows the driver (and passenger) to sit lower in the seat, giving ample room for occupants to wear protective helmets.
The style of the car has been influenced by the design and configuration of the engine. The TVR approach, with the engine in the front and the rear wheels, allows the use of the most classic engine of sports cars: the six in line. As a side note, TVR doubled Speed Six to create the incredible Speed Twelve.
One of the main characteristics of a six in line is that it can be balanced perfectly. TVR has chosen to use an all-aluminum construction with important new features that depart from the traditional mold used by the company’s engineers. It is the first TVR engine to employ four valves per cylinder, allowing for greater volumetric efficiency at high revs, giving the engine a sportier nature. Finger followers allow greater valve acceleration, improving engine torque. A quiet and reliable drive is ensured by two chain-driven overhead camshafts. The engine sits very low on the car’s chassis to promote a lower center of gravity, enhanced by a 15-degree engine tilt that allows the hood to sit even lower. Engine designers have achieved such a low CoG by using a dry sump system, similar to that of the Speed Eight and Speed Twelve racing variants. The engine features steel connecting rods lined with lightweight slipper-style pistons and a nodular iron crankshaft.
The vehicle’s chassis is based on a shorter version than that found on the Cerbera, providing more space than one would find on a Chimaera or Griffith. The overall dimensions of the chassis have been derived from the Tuscan Challenge race car. The benefit of using a race-proven chassis is immediately obvious, for one thing, rarely has a vehicle’s chassis been tested so extensively. The roll cage, door beams and transverse aluminum reinforcement beams are evidence of TVR’s commitment to safety, something that has been superior in the design process from the beginning.