The TVR Chimaera Is a Quirky, Weird V8 Sports Car

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TVR Chimaera evaluation! The TVR Chimaera is an unusual, eccentric V8-powered cars– and it's fantastically interesting. Today I'm reviewing the Chimaera, and I'm going to reveal you around this uncommon cars and truck. I'm also going to the Chimaera and reveal you what it's like behind the wheel of this intriguing V8 sports car.

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The TVR Chimaera Is a Quirky, Weird V8 Sports Car

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60 Comments

  1. I love how Doug made Cars&Bids and now realizes how quirky his fan’s cars are! He must be living his dream

    1. @Defensivebeast there are a few Sagaris’s in the states, but will one owner throw the keys to Daddy Doug?

    2. @グーグル翻訳 really? I’ve never heard of one entering the states, how did they end up there?

    3. Had a pleasure of belting a Mk2 Tuscan through some canyons in France, it was a fantastic experience. The sound echoing off the cliff walls was awesome. I have a reasonable amount of experience with performance rear wheel drive cars and I really felt connected with it. Awesome car, but sadly RHD (as all of them are) which doesn’t work for me in continental Europe. If not for that I might have bought one.

    4. Doug, review a DACIA man, stop messing around, do it already ! or any other car, a RENAULT? do you know how many cars Peugeot, Renault, Dacia, Fiat, Citroen, Opel make? Do you have Opel in USA? they make great cars. Why you never reviewed a VW Passat? man being in Murica must suck you don’t have so much there ….

    1. Same I don’t really care for most of his new car videos unless it’s something that’s special. Whenever he reviews a car from the 2000s and before I drop everything and watch it

    2. @PeachSnapple75 The latest most limited edition $3million Lamboclarenarri? Boring. An old Saab 900? Instant click.

    3. I love that these cars don’t have an infotainment system where he’ll spend 20 hours discussing every screen :/

  2. My dad had a chimaera when I was a kid & to this day it’s still one of my favourite cars of all time. So glad that Doug finally got to experience one of these as even though they’re british built & not the most reliable cars they’re fantastic if you take care of them. So much character in a lightweight chassis with a big ol’ v8 never fails to put a smile on your face

  3. Wow – I used to drive one of these back in the late ’90’s, I was in the North West so not far from Blackpool where they were made – bit of a liability to be honest but very very fun.

    1. @Sebastian Nolte i played project Gotham racing and they had the phantom… Definitely was hard to handle.. it felt more like it was ment for drifting

    2. Easily the best looking. The 4.7 (if my memory serves me) V8 sounded like a dragster, at idle. The ‘Red Rose’ even more so.

  4. James May: “Did you know that in the whole history of TVR, there is no records of one ever breaking down?”
    Clarkson: “I’ve heard that.”

    1. That quarter window I genuinely weird. From a distance I thought it was from an mx5. I like quarter windows on convertibles, makes a huge difference to cabin turbulence. Drove convertible cameros, solstice, bmw 3 series without them, bugs in my eyes and mouth every time. Never had that problem in an mx5.

    2. @Iain Bagnall I had a targa top C5 corvette and would drive with the windows down and top off on the freeway and didn’t have anything hit me in the face. I think the windshield was tall and wide enough to block that

    3. Lots of power, next to no safety equipment, and handling that was once charitably described as “adventuresome” – yeah, if one didn’t break down in the first 200 miles, there was probably not enough left for the owner’s next-of-kin to drive.

    4. @Iain Bagnall I think it’s actually just a window guide for the leading edge to stop the window from rattling (and probably added late in development). Any similarity to a quarter window is just coincidental; they could have just used a single bent piece of metal but that would have been even more dangerous and probably less sturdy.

    5. @Iain Bagnall I had a Type 3 VW and the quarterlight directed a passing bee into my face at high speed

  5. I’ve been wanting a TVR since I played Gran Turismo 2 back in the day and they still seem so far out of reach. Such amazing cars, it’s a shame (and a bit of a blessing) that they’re not more well known.

    1. @A D Probably cause they’re somewhat obscure outside of their home country (unless you played Gran Turismo).

  6. The tail light situation is due to them being parts bin items. The outer clear casing is there and shaped to make them look better and fit the rest of the cars design.

    1. @One Issue Voter door mirror is taken from the Citroën CX (as used on the Jag XJ220) and the door controls are deliberately designed so the heavy mechanism is in the body which keeps the door light and saves wear on the hinges, thats why there are no handles on the doors 😉

    2. @One Issue Voter those are the features that made TVR stand out and are part of the reason the brands cars so fondly remembered, even if the cars weren’t always objectively good

    3. @One Issue Voter Because tail lights are considered a safety item, the cost of having a new design certified is astronomical compared to other parts of the car. Even a lot of really high-dollar supercars use parts-bin lights to avoid this expense.

    4. @One Issue Voter TVR Is going anywhere just yet, they have secured a loan to restart production of Cars starting with their a;ready unvailed TVR Griffith with they showed off way back in 2018. Part of the reasons they use parts bin parts like this is that certain parts cost a lot more then others to design themselves, especially parts that are covered by safety regs and need to be certified so they cut costs by going parts boon for those and put their limited R&D dollars on other aspects of the cars. TVR sells so fe cars that like other limited production car manufacturers there are always operating with very little runway when it comes expenditures so they focus on the features that are most likely to attract luxury drivers to them and skimp on areas that will not be seen as being as important to their audience like headlight/tailight design. In fact, It’s these sort of quirks in this car that attracted certain people to buy A TVR in the first place as apposed to Porsche or Bentley or BMW OR Mercedes with less quirky natures dice to higher volume sales allowing for higher R&D budgets and more custom parts designing.

  7. The roof on most Chimaeras folds down much lower than this one, the only thing stopping it is the risk of splitting the plastic window. Also, there is additional cabin storage on these with a covered storage box behind both seats under the parcel shelf, albeit well hidden 👍

    1. Yep, the roof should fold down further, but not by much. Over time the rear panel will split if you do push it down. Simple fix is to roll up an old rug and stick it in the fold as you push the roof down.

    2. @phil pat Had a look at some photos, and it never goes down all the way. But there seems to be a cover for it when folded down.

    3. @phil pat There’s something so British about that.
      We “could” have sorted out the window – but why don’t you just take an old rug and.. 🙂

  8. I know it can’t be easy being a small car company but I imagine they’d sell so much better back in the day if the interior wasn’t the most complicated oversight in the entire car industry.

    1. Complicated? You should see the final Tuscans – these ’90s cars were simple compared to the last of them! Mind you, as a small car company, what do you do when Rover killed the V8? Yep, TVR created their own – the AJ6 (later Speed Six) inline unit and then they decided to take it racing and created the crazy Speed Twelve – according to Peter Wheeler, they dyno’d it and the engine broke at 1000bhp. They left it at 960bhp and it was undriveable so he just refunded all the deposits and only 3 prototypes were built.

      I think Doug would become a blithering mess with all the quirks and featureson one of the last TVRs… (though technically, the company has been relaunched apparently – in Forza Horizon 4, you can drive one of the ‘new’ ones).

  9. I’ve been waiting for Doug to get his hands on a TVR again since they are essentially his wet dream for quirks and features. The interiors especially were designed without a care for what other manufacturers do.

  10. The taillights are from a MK 3 Ford Fiesta with a more bubbled surround on them. That’s why they gave 2 cases.
    Plus, the front then signal – the reason is has a double hole for them (one below the one containing the light) is because the designer was playing with the company chairman’s dog and the dog went to bite him and took a chunk out of the clay model and they kept it like that.

  11. US based Chimaera owner here. I have a 94 with a 4.6 JED motor I imported in November. Some corrections for the pedantic, because when else am I going to be able to talk about something so specific! The top climate knob controls the temp, the bottom one controls the direction of flow. Besides the dash panel vents, there’s a foot vent on each side. Weirdly, the driver side dash vent is EXCLUSIVELY for cold air. There’s a separate unlabeled rotary knob under the column that controls a blower motor that sucks exterior air into the cabin through that vent and another footwell vent. There’s another unlabeled underside column button that turns off the dash lights. No dimmer. Just on and off. My Chim has the turn signals on the left, which is typical for British RHD cars, typically JDM RHD cars will have the right side signal arrangement. My window switches are also mounted behind the shifter, instead of in the front, which shows how much TVR just did whatever they felt like when they were building them. So far it’s been a blast, I’m a previous Elise, SW20 MR2, X100 XKR, Caterham, NA Miata, C5 Corvette owner, and this feels more in the GT than pure sports category. Like a Miata sized XKR. The space frames aren’t the stiffest. Parts availability in the States isn’t bad for hard parts. Rover motor, Ford T5 tranny, Ford brakes and suspension hubs/uprights. Great online community for knowledge. Values are still low for what you get, especially compared to what else similar cars in the market fetch.

    1. You said pedantic and I thought of James May. This reads like something he would have written and I mean that as a compliment. That’s awesome that you have a Chimaera

  12. Hope everyone who truly likes reviews on obscure cars like this like and share this video.. incentivise doug to do these more as it doesn’t appeal to mainstream audience

  13. The TVR Chimaera can also be used as the chassis for an electric car. Let’s call it… the Hammerhead Eagle i-Thrust

  14. I love how the sound of the V8 was rumbling at the stop light. You hardly hear sports cars like that in our country of Jamaica. Takes me back to the 80s when the big V8s were still rumbling around. Sounds like a Man’s car!! Big up Sir Doug Demuro.

  15. Doug, I believe this is seriously one of your best videos. Truly a masterpiece. And what a fantastic car

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