TVR Tuscan Convertible Inverness

This car is a tight fit, so even with practice it takes a lot more effort to operate than a retractable canvas mechanism. There were small gaps between the roof and window seals on our test car, too - the only signs of corner cutting in an other-wise well screwed-together interior.

Highland Car Crushers
01463 236265
3-5 Carsegate Road North
Inverness

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Arnold Clark Automobiles Ltd
01463 230885
46 Harbour Road
Inverness

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Calterdon Ltd
01463 236566
Harbour Road
Inverness

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Bannerman Seat
01463 222841
44 Harbour Road
Inverness

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John R Weir
01463 238008
Longman Road
Inverness

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Ken'S
01463 717616
15B Harbour Road
Inverness

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Highland Audi
01463 232255
35 Harbour Road
Inverness

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Cattanach Car Dealers
01463 717200
13 Carsegate Road
Inverness

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Top Car
01463 713880
1 Harbour Road
Inverness

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Donald Mackenzie Ltd
01463 235777
62 Seafield Road
Inverness

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TVR Tuscan Convertible

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Is TVR growing up? Vivid red and black paintwork aside, the Tuscan Convertible is hard to dismiss as yet another crazy creation from the famous Blackpool firm. The company has got serious - these days, it's not only about presence and performance, it's also about making cars people can enjoy day in, day out.

New owner Nikolai Smolenski's arrival has improved build quality and reliability, but the Convertible is more than a traditional TVR with better panel gaps. There's the cabin, for a start. With its new, symmetrical dashboard layout, it's the best interior from the firm yet.

Even so, there are still some quirks; you open the doors by pressing buttons under the wing mirrors, and inside, an eerie-looking, green-lit rev counter sweeps in an anti-clockwise direction. Several different roof designs were considered for the Convertible, including a trendy folding hard-top. But for cost reasons, the firm stuck with the tried-and-tested set-up from the Griffith.

It's a tight fit, so even with practice it takes a lot more effort to operate than a retractable canvas mechanism. There were small gaps between the roof and window seals on our test car, too - the only signs of corner cutting in an other-wise well screwed-together interior.

But you forget such trivial concerns once you turn the starter key. The straight-six engine that rumbles to life isn't the 3.6-litre unit found in the Tuscan 2, but the 4.0-litre from the Sagaris, detuned to produce 365bhp at 6,000rpm and 427Nm of torque. In a car which weighs only 1,100kg, that adds up to phenom-enal straight-line acceleration. Throttle response is sharp, and the torque del-ivery flexible enough to pin you back to the seat. Yet the gearshift and clutch are light and satisfying to use, and there is enough traction to ensure that wheelspin is rarely an issue in the dry.

Roof up or down, you're bombarded with a spine-tingling soundtrack that rises to a furious howl. The ride is surprisingly supple, and the brakes powerful. But the nose can still feel fidgety over rutted roads, and the lack of traction control, ABS or airbags means you have to show some restraint in corners.

A few of the rough edges have been rubbed off, largely in driveability and ride comfort, but this TVR is still very much a hands-on experience - and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Author: Paul Bailey

TVR Tuscan Convertible