TVR Chimaera

The TVR Chimaera was introduced from 1992 and was intended to be the long distance tourer of the range and as such was longer, more spacious, had a larger boot and apparently had softer suspension than its stablemate , the TVR Griffith. However when you compare the cars they are very similar mechanically with the running gear being virtually identical.

The TVR Chimaera is the entry point to TVR motoring. It has been designed to be every bit as much of a Grand Tourer as a sports car with the emphasis being evenly split between ride and handling, torque and horsepower, practicality and light weight. At the same time as BBC Top Gear magazine was enthusing, "TVR completely blitzes the opposition, in any gear, from any speed to any speed," Autocar was attesting that, "The Chimaera is great fun to drive even when you're just tootling along."

Ten years of development have resulted in the perfect evolution of the breed. The Chimaera evolved into the ideal embodiment of the modern British sportscar. The car is a piece of sculpture, not designed on a computer, which is immediately obvious on first sight. Great emphasis has been placed on purity of line with no external fuel filler cap, boot release or even door handles as the doors open on the press of buttons under the door mirrors. In 2001, the car was lightly facelifted and now features a new nose with faired-in headlights and a mildly restyled tail.

Power is supplied by a TVR Power variant of the mighty Land Rover 3.9 litre V8 engine, available in 4.0, 4.3, 4.5 and 5.0 versions and this propels the Chimaera effortlessly to its top speed of around 160 mph. Typical power for the original TVR Chimaera 4.0 litre was 240 bhp but that could be optionally increased to 4.3 litre with 280 bhp in 1992 with a further option of big valve cylinder heads. In addition to the variants available to the TVR Griffith the TVR Chimaera was also available with a 4.5 litre capacity with 285 bhp. In 1993 the TVR developed 5.0 litre with 340 hp became standard for the TVR Chimaera and latterly this became available for the TVR Chimaera but did not become standard fitment.

It was of the TVR Chimaera that Jeremy Clarkson wrote, "It's spacious cockpit is a dream too, with wood, leather and polished aluminium styled by someone who truly understands interior design." The new Cerbera-style seats of the Chimaera are leather as standard and feature a removable squab for when you want extra lateral support on the racetrack. The Chimaera also now boasts all aluminium switchgear as well as comprehensive instrumentation of which you can specify the colour. This is part of an almost bewildering array of choices that customers could make when ordering a car which included ten thousand colours for the paintwork, more than forty for the leather, fourteen for the carpet, five for the hood, twenty for the stitching and even five different materials for the dashboard from burr walnut to engine-turned aluminium.

Chimaera 4.0

Engine 90 degree alloy V8 engine
Capacity (cc) 3950
Bore/stroke (mm) 94 x 71
Compression Ratio 10:1
Max rpm 6250
Max Power 240 bhp @ 5500 rpm
Max Torque 270 ft.lbs @ 4000 rpm
Performance 0 to 60 mph: 5.1 seconds
0 to 100 mph: 12.5 seconds
Max Speed: 152 mph
Suspension All round independent – unequal length double wishbones and coil over gas dampers assisted by anti-roll bars
Braking 239.7mm diameter solid front discs and 254mm solid rear discs were fitted to all early 4.0 models and these were upgraded in 1997 to 260mm diameter ventilated front disc brakes with 273mm diameter rear discs. Servo assisted with front/rear split dual circuits – cable operated hand brake operating on the rear wheels
Steering Manual steering with optional power steering. Rack and pinion with adjustable steering column – 2.2 turns lock to lock. 350mm leather covered steering wheel
Wheels and Tyres Front: 15 inch alloy wheels, 205/55 ZR15 tyres
Rear: 16 inch alloy wheels, 225/50 ZR16 tyres

Chimaera 4.5

Engine 90 degree alloy V8 engine
Capacity (cc) 4546
Bore/stroke (mm) 94 x 82
Compression Ratio 9.5:1
Max rpm 6250
Max Power 285 bhp @ 5500 rpm
Max Torque 310 ft.lbs @ 4500 rpm
Performance 0 to 60 mph: 4.7 seconds
0 to 100 mph: 11.2 seconds
Max Speed: 160 mph
Suspension All round independent – unequal length double wishbones and coil over gas dampers assisted by anti-roll bars
Braking 260mm diameter ventilated front disc brakes with 273mm diameter rear discs, Servo assisted with front/rear split dual circuits – cable operated hand brake operating on the rear wheels
Steering Manual steering with optional power steering. Rack and pinion with adjustable steering column – 2.2 turns lock to lock. 350mm leather covered steering wheel
Wheels and Tyres Front: 15 inch alloy wheels, 205/55 ZR15 tyres
Rear: 16 inch alloy wheels, 225/50 ZR16 tyres

Chimaera 5.0

Engine 90 degree alloy V8 engine
Capacity (cc) 4988
Bore/stroke (mm) 94 x 90
Compression Ratio 10:1
Max rpm 6000
Max Power 340 bhp @ 5500 rpm
Max Torque 320 ft.lbs @ 4500 rpm
Performance 0 to 60 mph: 4.1 seconds
0 to 100 mph: 10.2 seconds
Max Speed: 175 mph
Suspension All round independent – unequal length double wishbones and coil over gas dampers assisted by anti-roll bars
Braking 260mm diameter ventilated front disc brakes with 273mm diameter rear discs, Servo assisted with front/rear split dual circuits – cable operated hand brake operating on the rear wheels
Steering Manual steering with optional power steering. Rack and pinion with adjustable steering column – 2.2 turns lock to lock. 350mm leather covered steering wheel
Wheels and Tyres Front: 15 inch alloy wheels, 205/55 ZR15 tyres non pas. 225/50 ZR15 pas.
Rear: 16 inch alloy wheels, 245/45 ZR16 tyres

The word that best sums up the performance of the Chimaera is effortless. It is propelled by the legendary TVR development of the Rover V8 which in its 4.5 litre form is sufficient to propel the car from a standing start to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and 100 mph in 11.2 seconds on its way to a top speed of 160 mph. The carefully tuned big bore stainless steel exhaust system is optimised for both performance and exactly the right V8 sound. The extremely strong chassis is based on that of the racing TVR Tuscan which provoked Autocar to say, "Chassis and engine mate brilliantly."

When buying a TVR Chimaera now look out for chassis and wishbone corrosion, damage to the interior through dampness, leaking radiators, worn camshafts and piston slap, worn differentials on early models with GKN units, leaking power steering, cracked dashboard veneers. However there are also good examples of the TVR Chimaera which will be reliable sports cars that exhibit few of these problems and will remain great cars for many years yet to come.

Both the TVR Chimaera and Griffith are awesome capable track cars but are also very at home in traffic and are ideal for touring the continent in some style.

The TVR Chimaera is not currently available new as it has not been in production at Blackpool since 2002. Used TVR Chimaeras can be found to suit most budgets as Chimaeras were one of the more plentiful of cars that TVR manufactured. Racing Green TVR always has a number of TVR Chimaeras in stock so have a look at our stock list or contact TVR Sales on 01252 894790 or 01252 894795.

Racing Green TVR has developed a reputation for upgrades to TVRs from shiny Stainless Steel wheel nuts right through to the mighty FFF cylinder head and the performance enhancing Syvecs engine management system. Over the past few years Racing Green TVR has been focused on ensuring that TVRs remain where they belong, out on the road and track. To this end we have been continuously developing a number of products that will ensure that your TVR will perform better than when it left the famous Bristol Road Factory in Blackpool.

From AST shock absorbers through to Quaife differentials, from full polyurethane suspension bush kits to high specification catalytic converters Racing Green TVR is the company to talk to when it comes to uprating your TVR. In the listings below we are showing the main upgrades available for your car but if you do not see something that you are specifically after please contact us as we will almost certainly be able to help you.

For all TVR Upgrade enquiries please contact Bryan on 01252 894787 or bryans@racinggreentvr.com and you will be able to discuss your requirements in some detail.

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Racing Green TVR has a comprehensive range of parts for the TVR Chimaera and by clicking on one of the categories below you will be taken to the relevant category on our website www.thetvrshop.com where you can make a purchase. Here you will be able to see some of the parts we offer for the TVR Chimaera but should the part you require not be obvious please contact Phil Forster on 01252 894797 or philipf@racinggreencars.com and we will be able to give you more information.

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