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TVR Sagaris: Buying guide and review (2004-2006)

TVR Sagaris: Buying guide and review (2004-2006) Classic and Performance Car
TVR Sagaris TVR Sagaris TVR Sagaris TVR Sagaris TVR Sagaris TVR Sagaris TVR Sagaris
With rumblings of a new TVR sports car arriving in 2017, the turbulent history of this fascinating company may indeed have a few more chapters left to unfold. Amidst the takeovers and financial woes that continuously threatened to put an end to it, a number of very special cars were somehow produced, and quite possibly the best was left till last. We’re of course talking about the unhinged Sagaris, produced under Nikolai Smolensky’s ownership. 
Whereas most previous TVRs had a well-deserved reputation for mechanical and electrical fragility, under that new swooping machete slashed bodywork, the Sagaris used a development of underpinnings from the Tuscan and T350, giving improved reliability due to some much needed development. The lack of driver aids, super light overall weight and aggressive naturally aspirated power made for a unique offering, now even rarer in today’s digital deluge of electronically aided supercars. 
Values continue to head upwards as the true merits of these cars remain to be appreciated by a select few, so read on through our buying guide to see what to look for.

Which one to buy?

One model, in any garish colour you like. As was the case with most TVR products, the Sagaris was continuously developed throughout production, in a more analogue version of Microsoft Windows ‘would you like to send an error report’, Sagaris customers would become an integral part of the car’s development. 
Exhaust systems were redesigned three times, suspension settings changed and various other modifications made as either TVR engineers or owners found issues with them. This is the long way of saying that while all are good; the later models are the most sorted. In the end the Sagaris has proven itself to be one of the most reliable TVRs ever built, and many upgrades can be retrofitted. You can’t afford to be too picky as production numbers were low and with values rising many owners prefer to hold on to their cars.
Nowadays the combination of rear wheel drive, 380bhp and one ton kerb weight would have manufactures throwing so many electronic aids at the car that it would basically become autonomous. Eschewing even ABS, TVR thought that the driver’s right foot would be more than enough to keep things pointing in the right direction. Thankfully the Sagaris has a very biddable chassis (based on the already decent T350) but driver skill plays a very important role in the formula. Power steering, electric windows, a CD loader and leather interior are about as luxurious as it gets. 
A five-speed manual gearbox was the only transmission choice available; the extra cog is not missed though thanks to the featherweight body and torquey engine. The in-house Speed Six motor had by this point been developed into a reliable power plant, and TVR’s famously vague power claims ranged between 406bhp and 375bhp. It remained a ballistic missile regardless. The commitment to development despite the threat of imminent closure can be seen in the plans to introduce a face-lifted Sagaris 2. Sadly this was not to be, and we are left with just a handful of these mad, yet utterly desirable machines.

Performance and specs

Engine 3996cc, 24 valve DOHC I6 
Power 380bhp @ 7000rpm 
Torque 349lb ft torque @ 5000rpm
Top speed 185mph (claimed)
0-60mph 3.7sec 
Fuel consumption n/a 
Gearbox Five-speed manual

Dimensions and weight

Wheelbase 2361mm
Length 4057mm
Width 1850mm
Height 1175mm
Kerb weight 1078kg

Common problems

Traditionally, this section is where TVR owners would start sweating. Thanks to using developments of tried and tested technologies the Sagaris suffers from precious few major issues and smaller ones are generally easily resolved.

• Early Speed Six engines had a reputation for valve gear wear but this was fixed before Sagaris production started. Things to watch out for are documented evidence of regular servicing, especially tappet adjustment as this is a pricey job that requires specialist attention. Engine stuttering could be worn throttle bodies at low revs or HT leads if occurring higher up the rev range. 

• Watch for oil pressure sensors leaking, a tell-tale sign is the pressure not rising as the revs increase. Engine mounts can crack, especially the ones situated next to the exhaust manifold. A refusal to start could be as simple as a blown ignition coil fuse. Later cars had 20amp fuses upgrade from 15amps.

• The five-speed Borg Warner transmission is robust however the clutch can give problems so check for a heavy action or stickiness. Uprated slave cylinder seals can aid in reducing the common issue of leaking.

• Early cars had thinner walled alloys prone to damage; bent rims can be felt as vibrations through the steering wheel or pedals. The ride is predictably hard and some owners have changed the standard dampers to improve bump absorption somewhat.

• Rust is not a common issue just yet but as the chassis is powder coated, wherever it has chipped off corrosion is likely to set in. Keeping the bodywork and undercarriage clean is the best way to spot early the early signs before major rusting can occur.

• The car is low and the front splitter is prone to damage so expect some chips and scratches.

• The dashboard can suffer from wiring issues so check that all gauges and instrument lights work as they should.

• The rear side glass can pop out due to a poor bonding process at the factory.

Model history

2004: TVR Sagaris launched with 380bhp 4.0l inline six Speed Six engine. Available exclusively with 5-speed manual gearbox in Coupe body style
2005: Numerous detail changes carried out including exhaust redesign and sturdier alloys
2006: Ride height raised and suspension softened to alleviate bottoming out on bumpy roads. Last Sagaris rolls off the line signalling the end of TVR production for 11 years and counting

Owners cubs, forums and websites

• www.tvr-car-club.co.uk – TVR enthusiast site
• www.str8six.co.uk – TVR specialist
• www.tvrownersclub.com – TVR owners club
• www.tvr-parts.com – TVR parts supplier

Summary and prices

One sure sign that a car is destined to become a classic is when used values surpass the original purchase price. At up to £80,000 now being asked for delivery mileage examples, the Sagaris has undoubtedly stepped into this category, as a new one in 2004 was just a fiver short of £50k. Colour and year of manufacture don’t seem to affect prices much, and with just two years of production, supply is very limited. Prices start at £40,000 for higher-mileage cars. With contemporary performance and looks combined with a pleasingly analogue driving feel, the Sagaris was a fitting swansong to the TVR legacy, and has become a desirable modern classic today.

Words: John Tallodi
TVR Sagaris TVR Sagaris TVR Sagaris TVR Sagaris TVR Sagaris TVR Sagaris TVR Sagaris
Last updated: 7th Oct 2016
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TVR Sagaris
59950 90000 GBP
  • TVR Sagaris

    £90,000 £90,000

    Vehicle Description: The Blackpool Based TVR Motor Company First Offered The Sagaris, To The Motoring Press At The 2003 MPH03 Auto Show And Then Was Further Showcased A Year Later In 2004 At The NEC Birmingham Motor Show, With Order Books Fully Opened And The First Small Numbered Vehicles To Become Available To The Lucky Few In 2005. Even Tho The Factory Never Documented The Exact Total Built Of Cars, There Are Reports That Only A Mere 211 Units Had Been Produced And Sold Between 2005 To 2006 And If We Fast Forward To 2018, The Total Number Of Vehicles Still Available To Acquire Are Very Few And Far Between, Thus Making This The Ultimate British Modern Day Classic Super Car. The Radical Design Came From The Perfect Collaboration Of Factory Designers Graham Browne & Lee Hodgetts, Who Both Wanted This All New Offering To Be Endurance Racer, Yet Sadly The Sagaris Was To Be One Of The Last Models That Would Be Produced From The Lancashire Sea Side Assembly Line And With The Aggressive Sculptured Body Curves And A Multitude Of Air Vents, This Fabulous TVR Was To Set The Heart Beats Racing For Those Purist Of Petrol Heads, That Wanted Their Own Piece Of British Hand Built Excitement. Every Element Of The Car Was To Create Maximum Aggression And Fear To Other Leading Car Manufactures, With The Vehicles Name Sagaris To Come From The Greek Lightweight Battle Axe Used By The Formidable Warriors Known As The Scythians, Which Was Feared For Its Ability To Penetrate The Armour Of Their Enemies. At The Time Of Build The TVR Brand Was Under Russian Ownership, With The Young Oligarch Nikolai Smolensky, Wanting To Make His Mark On An Already Established Performance Manufacture, So He Wanted To Improve The Final Finish And Build Quality, That Had Been A Down Fall From Many Past TVR Cars Dating Back To When The Company Was First Founded In 1946. TVR Chief Engineer Daniel Boardman Was Also Frustrated With Historical Factory Build Issues And Was Tasked With The Job To Over See The Wishes Of His New Boss, So He Looked To Improve Problems With Water Ingress, Poor Fitment Of Interiors And The Sometimes Scary Vehicle Handling, Which Had Made Drivers Slightly Nervous To Even Consider A TVR As An Option To Purchase. So Mr Boardman Improved The suspension Which Eliminated Bump Steer, The Dampers Were Tuned With Input From The Bilstein And Multimatic Concerns, The Bonnet Was Redesigned To Work As Well As Any Conventional Steel Bonnet And The Door Seals Were Meticulously Checked To Ensure No Water Ingress. The Immense Power Came From The Four Litre Speed Six Engine Which Produced An Impressive 406 BHP Between 7000-7500rpm And 349lb ft Of Torque At 5000rpm, Which Would Accelerate Both Driver And Passenger From 0-62 MPH In Just 3.7 Seconds, Would Brake From 60-0 MPH In An Astonishing 2.9 Seconds And Then Would Further Climb To A Top Speed Of 185 MPH, With The Final Party Piece Being Offered From The Thunderous Noise, Generated From The Chromed Sided Exhaust Pipes. Chassis Number B001204 Was First Supplied By TMS TVR In Melton Mowbray In July 2005 And Since This Date Has Just Has The One Private Registered Keeper From New, Which In The World Of The TVR Brand Is Viewed As Being Remarkably Rare To Now Find. This Of Course Is Highly Exciting, But Then If We Consider That Over The Last Fourteen Years Our Sagaris Has Only Had A Mere 13703 Miles Applied, Then Suddenly We Do Have Something Very Special To Presented To The Next Lucky Custodian, As This Roughly Means That This Vehicle Has Only Had Approximately 978 Miles Per Annum Applied Since The New Start Date. Regardless Of This Incredible Current Reading This Sagaris Has Been Maintained To The Highest Of Standards With Past Historical Service Visits Logged At 1277, 5951, 8086, 8875, 10492, 11780, 12146, 13177 & 13480 Miles, With The Extensive History File Documented With Various Invoices, Past MOT Sheets And Other Important Details That Trace The Cars Life Perfectly. Once Sold We Will Be Delighted To Offer This Unrepeatable Find, With The Entire Booklet Pack Set, The Original Bill Of Sale From TMS, Rare Images Of The Car During The Factory Build, A Fully Cleared Hpi Certificate And A Fully Functional Key Set, All In Place For The Next Person To Keep And Cherish During Their Own Ownership. The Past Provenance Of This Stunning TVR Sagaris Is Firmly In Place And We Firmly Believe That This Has To Be One Of The Rarest Examples, With An Excellent Array Of Important Factory Options, Staggeringly Low Mileage And And Extensive Historical History File, So With This We Expect A High Level Of Interest From Every Corner Of The Globe, With Options To Ship Worldwide, Available Upon Request... Exterior: The Aggressive Sculptured Fibre Glass Body Is Presented In The Launch Colour Finish Of Red Glow Pearl, Which Is A Truly Fantastic Shade In Showcasing The Hostile Multiple Bonnet Vents, The Fabulous Sagaris Body Lines And The Now Famous Signature TVR Curves. Further Prominent Features Include The Curved Bubble Roof Panel, The Unmarked Silver Finished 18" Severn Spoke TVR Embossed Spyder Alloy Wheels Which All Sit On Branded Tyres, The Twinned Chromed Right Angled Exhaust Pipes, The Colour Coded Front Bumper Valance Blades, The Aluminium Fuel Filler Cap, The Perspex Rear Boot Lid Spoiler Secured With The Metal Turned Brackets, The Blackened Brake Calipers Embossed With The Yellow TVR Script, The Colour Coded Door Mirrors Caps With The Door Entry System, Exterior Front And Rear Light Covers That Appear To Have Been Moulded From The Depths Of Hell And Beautifully Finalised With The Signature TVR Motifs, That Should Warn Off Other Road Users. The TVR Sagaris Is Possibly The Most Aggressive Looking Vehicle Ever To Have Been Conceived By Man, With The Total Appearance Being Effortlessly Beautiful From Every Given Angle And With This Would Be Well Placed In A New Or Already Established Vehicle Collection. Interior: The Interior Design Follows The Same Suit As The Radical Exterior, With A Total Cabin Designed For Sheer Excitement And Driving Pleasure, But Still And Possibly More Surprisingly A Snug Interior That Offers High End Comfort, With Subtle Metal Turned Detailing, That Announces Its True Intent. From Factory Build This Example Is Finished With The Portland Ivory Leather Sport Seats Beautifully Complemented With The Red Twin Needle Stitch Detail, The Optional Sagaris Embossed Body Colour Coded Seat Backs, The Two Tone Portland Ivory & Red Leather Trimmed Dash That Wraps Around This Unforgiving Space, Grey Carpets Detailed With Red Piping, The Two Tone Portland Ivory & Red Leather Bound Door Cards, The Three Spoke Black Leather Trimmed Steering Wheel, The Light Grey Suede Roof Lining, The Red Leather Trimmed Centred Tunnel, The Metal Turned Gear Shift And Hand Brake Lever, The Ivory Leather Top Roof Fitments And Beautifully Decorated With Metal Turned Switches That Finish This Highly Dramatic Environment Off Perfectly. The Interior Offers Nothing More Than More Pure Excitement And Is A Difficult Animal To Tame, Even For The Most Experienced Drivers. Specification: We Are Delighted To Have Available For Sale On Our Current Vehicle Inventory This Rare One Owner Low Mileage Example. Chassis Number B001204 Was Opted From The TVR Factory With Options To Include The TVR Close Ratio Gear Box, Air Conditioning, Electric Windows & Mirrors, The Three Spoke Black Leather Trimmed Steering Wheel, The TVR Pearlescent Paint Finish, The Aluminium Fuel Filler Cap, The Unmarked Silver Finished 18" Severn Arm TVR Embossed Alloy Wheels, The Blackened Brake Calipers Embossed With Yellow TVR, Remote Central Locking With Alarm, Tracker Vehicle Tracking System, Xenon Headlights, Metal Turned Gear Selector, Sagaris Embossed Entry Door Sill Plates, Metal Turned Hand Brake Lever, NXT Speaker System, Pioneer Head Unit With CD Function, TVR Metal Pedals, The Twinned Chromed Right Angled Exhaust Pipes, The Perspex Rear Boot Lid Spoiler, A Fire Extinguisher And So Much More. Presented With The Entire Booklet Pack Set, An Extensive Past History File, A Full Key Set, A Fully Cleared Hpi Report, The Original Bill Of Sale From TVR And The Original Factory Images Of Build.. For Further Details On This Rare Collectable Find, Then Please Contact Either Jonathan Or Mark On 01623 622627. Options & Costs To Ship Worldwide Are Also Available Upon Request... Further Images Available On Our Web Page..

    • Year: 2005
    • Mileage: 13703 mi
    • Engine size: 4
    For sale
    £90,000 £90,000
    Parkway Specialist Cars
    01623622627 View contact number
  • TVR Sagaris

    £59,950 £59,950

    Satellite Navigation 18' Spider Alloy Wheels In Black Long Ratio Gearbox Midas Pearl Paint Full Black Leather Interior Full Service History Air Conditioning Aluminium Stalks Racing Steering Wheel Aluminium Pedals Stainless Steel Exhausts Fibreglass Body 1 Of Only 200 Made Superb Example Delivery Available Financing Available Full Service History

    • Year: 2005
    • Mileage: 53000 mi
    For sale
    £59,950 £59,950