TVR Chimaera

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TVR Chimaera
1997 TVR Chimaera 4.5 V8 (18084757282).jpg
5256 produced
AssemblyEngland: Blackpool
DesignerJohn Ravenscroft[1]
Body and chassis
ClassGrand Tourer (S)
Body style2-door roadster
Wheelbase2,286 mm (90.0 in)
Length4,015 mm (158.1 in)
Width1,865 mm (73.4 in)
Height1,215 mm (47.8 in)
Curb weight1,060 kg (2,337 lb)
SuccessorTVR Tamora

The TVR Chimaera is a two-seater roadster sports car manufactured by TVR between 1992 and 2003. The name was derived from Chimera, the monstrous creature of Greek mythology, which was made of the parts of multiple animals.

First debuted at the 1992 Earl's Court Motor Show, the Chimaera used the same backbone chassis as the Griffith and used the same derivatives of the Rover V8 engine. The car was intended to be the long distance tourer of the range and as such was longer, more spacious and had slightly softer suspension than its sister car.[2]



The 4.0 litre Rover V8 engine
  • 90 degree aluminium V8

All engines are based on the 3.5 L Rover V8 unit, with increased displacement on the later models.

Model Capacity (cc) Power Torque Max speed 0-97 km/h (60 mph) (s) 0-161 km/h (100 mph) (s)
4.0 3,950 240 hp (179 kW; 243 PS) 270 lb⋅ft (366 N⋅m) at 4,000 rpm 245 km/h (152 mph) 5.1 12.5
4.0 HC 3,950 Hi Compression 275 hp (205 kW; 279 PS) 305 lb⋅ft (414 N⋅m) 254 km/h (158 mph) 4.7 12.1
4.3 4,280 280 hp (209 kW; 284 PS) 305 lb⋅ft (414 N⋅m) at 4,000 rpm 254 km/h (158 mph) 4.6 11.3
4.5 4,546 285 hp (213 kW; 289 PS) 310 lb⋅ft (420 N⋅m) 257 km/h (160 mph) 4.7 11.2
5.0 4,988 340 hp (254 kW; 345 PS) 320 lb⋅ft (434 N⋅m) 282 km/h (175 mph) 4.1 10.2


The suspension consisted of all round independent, unequal-length double wishbones and coil over gas dampers assisted by anti-roll bars. Ground clearance was about 5 inches (130 mm).


The front disc brakes were 239 mm (9.4 in) on smaller displacement cars, and 260 mm (10 in) diameter and ventilated on five litre models. The rear disc brakes were 253 mm (10.0 in), or 273 mm (10.7 in) in diameter on the five litre model. Both sets were servo assisted with front/rear split dual circuits. There was a cable-operated hand brake for the rear wheels.



Steering was optionally power-assisted and worked via rack and pinion with adjustable steering column. There were 2.2 turns lock to lock for the power-assisted steering or 2.5 for unassisted. The steering wheel was 350 mm (14 in) in diameter and leather-covered, although other wheels could be specified by the customer. The standard fit was by Personal, in keeping with a majority of TVR models.

Manufacturer's options[edit]

Rear view
  • Power assisted steering
  • Air conditioning
  • Rear speakers
  • Six CD autochanger
  • Full leather
  • Heated Seats
  • Wood and Chrome Steering Wheel
  • Wool Carpets
  • Gold coloured badges
  • Seven spoke 'Griffith 500' wheels for smaller engine versions (standard on 5.0)
  • 4,988 cc V8 (5.0) initially a factory option on the 4.3 and 4.5 litre models

Model year changes[edit]

The Chimaera was originally intended to replace the Griffith but sufficient demand for both of the models led TVR continuing them. In 1994, TVR introduced the Chimaera 500, a high performance derivative of the Chimaera. The BorgWarner T5 manual transmission replaced the Rover LT77 unit on the rest of the range. A new alternator, power steering and a single Vee belt were fitted to improve reliability. The 4.3 litre engine option was replaced by the 4.0 litre High Compression option. The Chimaera was mildly updated in 1996. Updates included a rear bumper shared with the Cerbera, push button doors with the buttons located under the wing mirrors, a boot lid shared with the Cerbera and the replacement of the front mesh grille with a horizontal bar. The GKN differential was also replaced by a BTR unit.

A 4.5 litre model was added to the lineup in 1997. It was originally intended to be fitted with the AJP8 V8 engine but due to the engine not being ready on time, a bored version of the Rover V8 was used instead. In 1998, the rear light styling and the number plate mounting angle was updated while the base 4.0 litre model was discontinued. In 2001, the Chimaera was again facelifted and now featured the Griffith's headlights as well as seats from the Cerbera. The Chimaera was succeeded by the Tamora in 2002.[2][3][4]


  1. ^ "TVR Chimaera: Buying guide and review (1992-2003)". Auto Express. 5 November 2018. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b "TVR Chimaera". 9 January 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  3. ^ "TVR Chimaera (1993 - 2005) used car review". RAC. 8 November 2005. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  4. ^ "TVR Chimaera | Used Car Buying Guide". Autocar. 19 December 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2020.

External links[edit]