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Safety? What's that?

The original 'Sagaris' was a battleaxe wielded by ancient Iranians cavalry which was much feared because it was able to chop through all known body armour of the day. Perhaps it was a very apt name because TVR's Sagaris, which was first brought out in 2005, was described by the reviewer Jeremy Clarkson as looking as though it was designed by a madman and then hit by an axe! However he also said that it was the best TVR ever made but whether that was a compliment for this car or an insult for previous TVRs is debatable. Certainly they had a reputation for dubious build quality, water leaks, unpredictable handling over bumps and bits coming unstuck.

However they were pretty fast; the 4 litre straight six engine propelled this car up to a claimed 185 mph with acceleration from nought to 60 in less than four seconds. This car was unashamedly aimed at the boy (and girl; and adult) racer market; there was even a bump in the roof on the drivers side to make room for a crash helmet!

This was perhaps a wise thing to wear whilst driving this car since TVR had a policy of ignoring such 'safety' features as automatic braking systems, anti-lock brakes, and even airbags. The logic behind this was that these made drivers overconfident and more likely to have accidents! They were engineered to be otherwise as safe as possible in the event of a rollover; perhaps just as well bearing in mind the past handling problems of TVRs.

The Sagaris however had much improved handling thanks to an updated suspension but perhaps to compensate for this the instrument lights tended to dazzle the driver and it made enough noise to deafen someone in the next block.

To be fair, with a selling price of around £50,000 buying a Sagaris was probably the cheapest way of getting a car which would do more than 180 mph and a number of owners who took their cars racing did achieve a number of successes at Oulton Park and Brands Hatch. About 211 were built but this was not enough to keep the company afloat; it went bust in 2006. Since those days there has been several changes of ownership and the marque is now owned by a company which is once again producing lightweight, powerful sports cars. Hopefully, after so many liquidations, this will be the brand's last and finally successful incarnation.

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