I’ve mentioned before that a huge part of a TVR Cerbera ownership experience, is how involved the drive is. You’ll have heard me use words like drama, theatre and occasion. Also you’ll have heard me use the word analogue a fair bit too.
And I’m not alone in saying this, many a Cerbera owner has said the same. In fact it’s not reserved for just Cerberas, there’s a few other models of TVR and indeed other marques too that evoke that same emotion stirred up through a cocktail of essential ingredients that together make the secret sauce.
This all sounds a little vague I know, and difficult to put your finger on – so for a while now, I have been meaning to try to put into words what those ingredients are.
Then 2 things happened.
The first thing that happened, over the summer, I got a passenger ride in this, a Lamborghini Huracan Performante. 5.2L of V10 no less. The driver didn’t hold back either.
I had expected this to be bucket-list material. But actually, once I climbed back out, the only word I could describe to sum it up was “boring”.
Why? it was too clinical. What it was lacking was an assault of the senses. There was noise, but not over-the-top. It lacked vibration, it lacked the smell of unburnt fuel. It lacked drama.
It felt “German”. It felt like I had just climbed out of an Audi or BMW.
The second thing that happened, I recently read a Top Gear article on the new Gordon Murrary Automotive (GMA) T.50 hypercar. Besides it being a well written article, as I was reading it, I kept thinking.. he’s describing my car!
Stick with me, I haven’t lost my mind. I know I am drawing a comparison between a brand new £2.4m hypercar and 20ish year old TVR, but stay with me a moment..
Excerpts from article:
It’s old fashioned yet hugely relevant.
It’s perhaps the most perfectly analogue sports car of the last 25 years.
..knows it will be fast, but cares about sensation and experience.
It’s more about what it doesn’t have. No power steering. No twin clutch gearbox. No touchscreens. No adaptive dampers. No nose lift. No cupholders. No turbos. No wings. No fuss and no bother.
It’s so refreshing to find a car that doesn’t focus on giant numbers, because that chimes with what we’ve been saying for a very long time – bigger numbers aren’t better. They tend to bring more weight and complexity, more electronic control to oversee and help out.
They all filter the experience, send signals through processors, reducing your connection while increasing their capability. It’s clever stuff, allows them to travel faster, but airbrushes the experience.
it’s also raw, pure and unfiltered.
it’s the removal of everything that interferes with driving.
It’s not the most musical or operatic sound, just this raw, blood-curdling howl. Plus occasional flames.
this is something more deliberate and mechanical, more demanding of concentration.
And then there’s the T.50s width, just 1,850mm. No other supercar, let alone hypercar, is that narrow.
and there’s nowhere to easily rest your elbows.
First you’ve got to open it up. There’s a button on the wing camera that does that.
Top Gear article by Ollie Marriage
we had to run the AC flat out to have much effect.
I urge you to read the full article (link above). This guys nails the experience that I struggled so much to put into words. The references to nowhere to rest your elbow, the button on the wing-mirror and useless AC also tickled me 😉
Back to the Lambo, it does look fantastic, but unfortunately, for me that’s where it ends. I’ve no doubt if you drove the wheels of it you could unsettle it and stir up some character, but you’d have to try really hard and at speeds that even I as a speed-freak would shy away from on public roads.
I doubt I’ll get a chance to passenger in a T.50, but I’m hoping I can one day blag a passenger ride in a Murcielago– that car circa early 2000s I suspect will have drama.