TVR Chimaera Tuning

"Tuning guide to the most effective TVR Chimaera modifications."

The Chimaera was available from '92 to '03 and the Chimaera has embarrassed many supercars on the track.

The Chimaera is a good project car to do. The key to Chimaera tuning is finding the right mods - a lot of money can be wasted if you do it wrong.

TVR used the awesome tried and tested Rover V8 engines and in such a light chassis it makes for a storming car.

  • 4.0 L Rover V8 240 bhp (179 kW; 243 PS) 270 lbft (366 N⋅m) at 4000 rpm
  • 4.0 L Rover V8 HC 275 bhp (205 kW; 279 PS) 305 lbft (414 N⋅m)
  • 4.3 L Rover V8 280 bhp (209 kW; 284 PS) 305 lbft (414 N⋅m) at 4000 rpm
  • 4.5 L Rover V8 285 bhp (213 kW; 289 PS) 310 lbft (420 N⋅m)
  • 5.0 L Rover V8 (Chimaera 500 models only) 340 bhp (254 kW; 345 PS) 320 lbft (434 N⋅m)

The Chimaera is a good car tuning project to execute. We see many people wasting money on their Chimaera doing the wrong mods and then having to start over. Follow our hints to avoid wasting your money

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Handling modifications are often a priority for the Chimaera.

If you set the toe out to 1-1.7 degrees on the front, and add a small amount of negative camber then cornering will substantially be enhanced.

We would go to a maximum drop of 23mm - 37 mm on most models. You risk handling compromises if you go lower than this.

Turning our attention to the engine we need to get a bit more power out of the top end.

Enjoy your Chimaera to the limit with our great modding guides - do the right mods in the right order.

The best power gains come from larger engine sizes. The more you start with the bigger the return on investment so engine swaps are good value mods for small engined cars.

Tuning modifications.

These are the upgrades are usually fitted by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you begin.

Getting the right motorsport upgrades for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 motor sport mods just don't work well on the road difficult in stop start traffic.

Stage 1 mods: Alloy wheels, Sports exhaust, Panel air filter, Lighter flywheel, Remap, Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm).

Stage 2 mods: high flow fuel injector, Power/Sport clutch, fuel pump upgrades, Fast road cam, Ported and polished head.

Stage 3 mods: Engine balancing, Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Sports gearbox, Competition cam, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves).

Peak power is all well and good but for a drivable and fun car you need a long power band and perhaps extending the rev range.

In this article we shall give an overview and introduction to the best upgrades for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance upgrade.One of the biggest mechanical modifications you can do to your NASP engine is to fit a fast road cam .

The exhaust & intake durations play a large part in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car hard to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a camshaft upgrade with other mods and finish with a remap to fully realise your gains.

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to ramp up the fuelling.

Using high octane petrol is another option if you find you are suffering from pinking or premature ignition on your TVR project after fitting other tuning upgrades. Upgrading the injectors is another beneficial modification and will deliver sufficient fuel.

If you are increasing your fuelling with bigger injectors you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Contrary to popular belief there is often a small if any power gain got by fitting an induction kit, they only help and are recommended after you raise the engines power to the point where the standard air intake box cannot cope!

Induction kits can work well on turbo engines and larger engines (if supplied with a suitable cold air feed or air box), generally though we'd just recommend for Chimaera engines you should settle for a sports panel air filter preferably made from cotton.

Do not go with the largest exhaust you can find this will reduce the exhaust flow rate - the best for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

Airflow through the head can be dramatically increased with some professional flowed (porting and polishing). These should match and be setup to take into account any other engine mods. In nearly all cases of Chimaera tuning your clutch will start to slip and this should be improved - read our guide on clutches for more information. The best mods we would do for your Chimaera are remaps, sports camshafts and induction improvementsTurbo engines are just pleading to be Reprogrammed. You will see phenomenal power gains on most modern turbo engined cars including diesels making a remap one of the most cost effective and phenomenal modifications for your money.

We've also seen some tuners toying with twincharged conversions and making some impressively high power figures.

Adding forced induction will see big power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. Superchargers are often easier to add than a turbo. Turbos provide boost in exponential proportion to increasing engine speed and this can make mapping difficult.

Superchargers will give a boost which is correlating to engine speed so is easier to map. Alternatively you could perhaps fit water injection to minimise knock.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Because alloy wheels are lighter they improve performance and they can help to cool the brake disks. Further improvements can be made to your cars handling with the addition of track legal slick tire. The downside to large rims on your Chimaera is that you're changing your final drive ratio and this will have a negative effect on acceleration.

Although some people have installed larger rims without issues we would restrict ourselves to a 16 inch rim size as the maximum.

For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss Chimaera options in more detail with our Chimaera owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased TVR tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.


There is a more updated version of this Chimaera Tuning article on

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