I own a TR8 and a Ford Mustang 5.0 Fox body. As mentioned earlier by an astute driver, it's the gearing and ratio's that make the TR8 a vastly superior machine. Back in the day, I used to blow the doors off of Mustangs, Corvettes, and yes... even Porsches! With minor inexpensive modifications the TR8 is unbeatable! If you go a step further (i.e. cam, bored, blower) forget about it! You Mustang guys will be staring at the dual exhaust from this British projectile. This car is almost 30 years old and it will still beat most (self-proclaimed sports cars) I still can't believe somebody mentioned a BMW - c'mon. V8 POWER!!!
I can't comment much on the Mustang, as I live outside of the USA, so these cars don't travel well outside of the land of stars and stripes.
I do love cars, and while we love our comment chain, the reality is a Mustang and TR8 live in different auto landscapes. The TR8 is just a fun little toy, the Mustang is bigger in all directions.
Like many authors here I have had a concourse 911 convertible, a lovely Maserati Ghibli which I miss very much. The TR8 I have now is just a hoot and seeing everyone look at it driving by makes me smirk. The previous owner 2 goes back spent a fortune on rebuilding it to ensure it was engineered how it should have been from day one. I am now the proud owner of what looks and drives like a 31 year old new car.
I love living in an all V8 house; my daily driver which I love is an Audi S6, and my wife has a 430ML. I strongly recommend the little Triumph, and encourage everyone who has ever loved cars, to experience them whenever they can; sooner or later they will all go away and be replaced by electric shopping carts.
People don't know what they are missing. I am now 4 months into my TR8 ownership and the smile won't leave my face. I had my days of exotica and will probably have them again, but the TR8 makes me and all who see her happy.
My mate and I pulled up in our TR8's the other day outside a coffee shop in our ritzy neighbourhood, parking behind a 599 Ferrari, we know the guy who owns it as well. People always chat and want to know about the little old wedges with the very angry V8's.
You could always find something faster, but it is about the whole package, a piece of history, and something unique and fast. I find I am using mine as a daily driver, as well as the weekend toy through my own version of forest stages.
I sold Triumphs, Jaguars, Rovers, and MGs in the era, and have owned everything from Corvettes to SC Weissachs, and SC Cobras.
I had the opportunity to pick up a '80 TR8 automatic hardtop, which was built as a prototype, and never put into production -- serial # 007. My manufacturer's rep drove it for 3 months when I picked it up for cost - $8550.
I've driven the 5-speed convertibles, and they are great fun, but this proto is absolutely fabulous as an everyday driver. It has Zenith-Stromberg carburetors, which have their tweaks, but when you rev this bad boy up it will still run with anything at 10 times the price. The beefy and stock anti-sway bars meet racing specs, so it runs and drives like a jet-powered slot car. With its British racing yellow paint, Mark TA radials and custom forged FORZA FRZ-950 wheels, it still draws the gawkers.
It is a near perfect combination of power, torque in all bands, and handling; with the typical British-Leyland combination of spartan brilliance...
...and I have the only one.
A Triumph TR8 is a very misunderstood car. It was manufactured to an average, but even that average was very quick. It would run with anything in its day.
Today, with very little money spent, you can provide handling improvements, torque and horsepower that will leave Mustang, BMW, Porsche, even standard Corvette drivers with their mouth's hanging open. And out handle them too. With nothing more than Poly bushing's and Spax inserts and shocks, you will take first place in a slalom or rally against the cars named.
There is simply nothing out there that will touch it for the money. These cars can turn in the high 11's @ 122 plus if you please.
There is no way even a modified TR8 can run with any incarnation of M3, save the 1st.
Secondly, old hand Mustang 5.0s, even stock power to weight ratio is tooo much for an old piece like a TR8.
Thirdly, any Boxster from the base to the S will easily outperform any Triumph, modified or not.
Lastly, any C4, stock or not, will absolutely destroy even a turboed TR8 V6 unless you do a grand national complete swap with upgrades. I know; I've done them, as well as various V8s in TR6s. Get with reality dude, the only older, cheap, small roadster with engine swap mods that would beat, or in some cases even destroy the aforementioned cars, is a monster / V8 swapped Miata.
Uhmmmm.. Do some research on the Rover V8 in its built up form; it's the only stock block to WIN two Formula One championships as a Repco Brabham Olds based engine. I've got a 5.0 Rover pushing 350 bhp in a fully modded 1850 lb MGB that hasn't been beat yet on the street; it's probably a 12-12.5 sec car in the 1/4 on street tires, and I've ran it here at PIR in Portland, and it humbles a lot of very nice machines with track times. There's obviously always something faster somewhere, but my point is the TR8 or whatever, running built Buick-Olds based Rover, engines are no joke!!
I don't know what you guys are smoking. I ran a modified (turbocharged) Opel GT (1900cc) against a TR8, and had no problem pulling away from him.