TVR Chimaera

Dimensions

Length
4015mm
Wheel-Base
2282mm
Height
1215mm
Width
1865mm
Front Track
1460mm
Rear Track
1460mm
Ground Clearance
132mm
Fuel Capacity
57 Litres
Weight
1060kg

Chimaera 4.0

Engine
90 Degree alloy V8
Capacity
3950cc
Max Power
6250
Bhp
240 @ 5250rpm
Max torque
270lbs/ft @ 4000rpm
0-60mph
4.8sec
0-100mph
12.2sec

Chimaera 4.3

Engine
90 Degree alloy V8
Capacity
4280cc
Max rpm
6250
Bhp
280 @ 5500rpm
Max torque
305lbs/ft @ 4000rpm
0-60mph
4.6sec
0-100mph
11.3sec

Chimaera 4.0HC

Engine
90 Degree alloy V8
Capacity
3950cc
Max rpm
6250
Bhp
275 @ 5500rpm
Max torque
305lbs/ft @ 4500rpm
0-60mph
4.6sec
0-100mph
11.3sec

Chimaera 4.5

Engine
90 Degree alloy V8
Capacity
4441cc
Max rpm
6000
Bhp
285 @ 5500rpm
Max torque
310lbs/ft @ 4250rpm
0-60mph
4.6sec
0-100mph
11.3sec

Chimaera 5.0

Engine
90 degree alloy V8
Capacity
4988cc
Max rpm
6000
Bhp
340 @ 5500rpm
Max torque
350lbs/ft @ 4000rpm
0-60mph
4.1sec
0-100mph
10.5sec

The Chimaera was first produced in 1993, while the Griffith was taken out of production. It was designed by Peter Wheeler, John Ravenscroft and Peter's dog Ned, who rumour has it designed the front indicator recess.

The car was based on the Griffith 4.x running gear and chassis, and was fitted with a slightly softer suspension set up, with Bilstein dampers and a rear anti-roll bar. The car was provided with a 4.0ltr or 4.3ltr version of the Rover V8, as fitted to the Griffith, but with catalytic converters to meet 1993 regulations. The initial reviews of the car were very favourable.

What they said at the time: Fast Lane 1993 "Overall, this is possibly the best handling front-engined/rear-driven sports car in the world." Sports Car International 1994 "There's little on the market that can touch the Chimaera for its seemingly incongruous blend of high performance, road behavior, individuality and value." evo 1999 "What you get are straight-forward, old-fashioned thrills. Buy wisely and you wont be disappointed." Performance Car 1997 "The TVR sounds as glorious as a Rolls-Royce Merlin aero engine." Car 1997 "The Chimaera sounds good and pulls enough wallop to satisfy all but the utterly power-crazed."

Making the best better

The first modification took place in 1994, when the Rover SD1 gearbox was replaced with a Borg-Warner T5 gearbox. This was followed by the introduction of the 5 litre engine as fitted to the Griffith 500.

1996 was the first major overhaul of the Chimaera. It was at about this time that the Chimaera and the Griffith started to share the same chassis and brakes, although the dampers remained different. The Griffith also received the Chimaera's rear anti-roll bar. These changes were all under the surface and went unnoticed by the majority of people, but the biggest changes were cosmetic!

The wire front grill was replaced by the split intake design from the Cerbera. The door locks were replaced with an under wing-mirror design, the rear bumper strip and boot lid were re-designed and the boot hinges replaced along with the rear light clusters. The interior also got a refresh with many of the switches being re-designed. However, throughout these changes the car was unmistakably still a Chimaera. These cars being TVR's, the '96 editions can have some or all of the modifications described installed, which can make buying spares a challenge!

2001 was the next time the exterior of the car was changed with the addition of faired in headlights.

In 1993 the Chimaera became TVR's biggest selling car and remained in that position untill 1998. There were about 6000 produced, and there are more Chimaeras on the road than the total TVR's produced over the preceding 25 years.