My main memory of reading about the new TR-250 was: we got cheated! While the rest of the world got the TR-5, with its new 2.5 L inline six sporting fuel injection and making 150 hp, we got the TR-250 with a de-smogged version of the six, but with special emission-friendly Stromberg carbs and rated at 111 hp. Such was life in the country that was leading the way in emission controls: doing the right thing often has a price.
The TR-250 was only built for one year and 8,484 times, replaced by the TR-6, whose restyle I had mixed feelings about. I preferred the original TR-4 style, and the TR-250 and TR-5 were obviously transitional vehicles. The 2.5 L six was a decided improvement over the rather hoary 2.2 L four, so even in TR-250 guise, there was plenty of praise.
The TR-250’s hp increase over the TR-4A was only 6 ponies, but torque significantly more bounteous, rising from 128 lb.ft to 152, and at a lower (3000 instead of 3350) rpm. That combined with the Triumph six’ inherent smooth ways made a marked improvement in feel and acoustics, even if objective performance wasn’t really much better.
The 2.5L six was of course an evolution of the 2.0L six, with a longer stroke and new head with bigger valves. There was considerable space given to its emission scheme, which was similar to the Clean Air Package pioneered by Chrysler, along with a variations. The net effect was…effective, as it avoided most of the driveability issues as well as the need for an air pump.
There were a number of other minor improvements for safety and ergonomics in the cockpit and in other places, like the elimination of the knock-off spinners and such.
The TR-250 (and TR-5) came standard with the IRS that had been offered on the TR-4A for a few years, and in general it worked well enough to make it a decent handler if not exactly a brilliant one. The lack of a rigid body structure (these were all Body On Frame cars) worked against it somewhat, and R&T noted that truly new Triumph would have been a much more exciting reality. It would be a long wait for that, and when it finally arrived, in the form of the TR-7, the enthusiasm was less than full-bore.