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Saturday, July 27, 2019

Triumph TR6

Triumph TR6

Triumph TR6


If the TVR represents a modern, super car-threatening take on the classic British sports car, then how does its source material compare? The Triumph TR6 is surely a prehistoric Chimaera, with its large acreage, driver’s seat back near the rear axle and sizeable– for the Seventies – straight-six engine promising uncomplicated, satisfying performance. Not quite. Although it feels urgent from a  standing-start, this TR6 only has 125bhp, and hits a fl at spot at around 3500rpm. It’s happy to cruise at 70mph with very little effort, overdrive on fourth gear proving as effective as any modern five speed gearbox, but its aesthetics – all rattling panels, hard suspension, wind roar and exhaust drone discourage this. It’s no GT. Problem is, it’s not that great as a nimble sports car either. It handles wide, sweeping bends with ease – you gently, gradually ‘lean the car into corners rather than hurl it but it pitches all too easily into under steer on tighter bends and suffers from scuttle shake above 50mph. Oddly enough, the car it feels most reminiscent of is not the classic 




Triumph TR4A from which it’s derived, but rather a kind of half-timbered Chevrolet Corvette. That’s no slight on the Triumph, but rather a compliment to Chevrolet for managing to capture the essence of a particularly British kind of car that’s so often forgotten – the open tourer. Perhaps it’s a result of its archaic roots the front and rear sections of the TR6 are essentially a Karmann-penned disguise for a car that was a decade old on introduction – but the TR6 has a very vintage feel. However, rather than detracting from the driving experience, it imbues it with character instead. The long bonnet, bent-elbow driving position, firm-shifting gear lever, big wheel operating the heavy steering and wind whipping around the upright screen put me in mind of an early Morgan 4-4 rather than a contemporary of the Ford Capri and RS Escort. And yet in doing so manages to make the Fords seem underwhelming and bland. You won’t crack any lap records in a TR6, but that’s not the point – you’ll drive everywhere bathed in the warm glow of nostalgia, something the Boxster can’t even hint at.

Triumph TR6

Engine 2498cc in-line six-cylinder, ohv, Lucas PI fuel injection
Power and torque 125bhp @ 5000rpm; 146lb ft @ 3500rpm
Transmission Four-speed manual, overdrive on third and fourth, rear wheel drive
Performance Top speed: 116mph; 0-60mph: 9.5sec
Fuel consumption 22mpg

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