Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show 2015 TVR 3

Now This Is Tempting: TVR Cerbera 4.5

I suppose there’s really no point in trying to explain TVRs ‘financial situation’ to you. As a matter of fact, even if I tried, it probably wouldn’t be all that much informative because a) I don’t know enough about it b) It’s a bit depressing and c) It would be full of typos and illegible letter combinations as a result of the blinding tears welled up in my eyes.

So instead of dwelling on the sad stuff, I think it’d be much to the benefit of you and me if we were to look back on a TVR product that you can actually drive with your actual hands and feet. And all for just £13,750. The most financially wise mid-life crisis object money can buy? Quite possibly…

If there’s one thing that we all know and love about TVR, it has to be their tantalisingly devious left-right combination of low weight and high power. Such a strategy is oft employed on circuit-blazing racing cars, and when that philosophy is given street tires and licence tags, it results in one of the most repeated clichés a motoring hack can use – ‘racecar for the road.’

Such words could be used to describe the road-going characteristics of the TVR Cerbera 4.5, but for the sake of avoiding your easily accessible annoyance, I shall refrain from such childish antics. You’re welcome.

Introduced back in ’94 at the Birmingham Motor Show in Birmingham, the TVR Cerbera didn’t reach production until A.D. 1996, in its 360 bhp 4.2 guise. The 4.2-litre V8 powerplant enabled the 1,100 kg car to see to a 185 mph top speed after having reached 60 mph in 4.2 seconds.

So that was the Cerbera 4.2, a car which Jeremy Clarkson described* as being “the noisiest, most exciting and fastest car this side of a Lamborghini Diablo.” But what happens when you take an already astonishingly fast piece of glassfibre and give it a bigger, more powerful engine?

It’s a question that’s almost expected in this modern age of redonkulous horsepower figures, but then again, this was the mid-90s, an age where a minimum of 450 bhp was the supercar norm and the Gran Turismo franchise convinced young boys (and girls) that they should change their last name to ‘Senna.’ Bring on the TVR Cerbera 4.5…

The spec sheet was made even more lip-biting with the 4.5 which saw 420 bhp coming from a flat-crank 4.5-litre V8, an engine which is still considered as having one of the highest specific outputs of any naturally-aspirated V8 with its 93.3 bhp/litre. As a result, stoplight sprints from a standstill to sixty could be done in 3.9 seconds, while bragging about the stonking 195 mph top speed ensured that you remained the most pretentious bloke in the pub.

With said bigger numbers, TVR thought it couldn’t hurt to also fit bigger brakes to help slow the car down for corners and a Hydratrak LSD so that an attempt at cornering didn’t result in flames and being upside down. Smart thinking.

And the fact that all of this high-power, hard-hitting performance can be had for less than £14,000 is, as Don Corleone would put it, an offer you can’t refuse. But if it is an offer that you can refuse, you should probably arrange an appointment with your doctor, for if you’re anything like me, all this talk of big power, low weight, and rear-wheel drive goodness has your mind envisioning roaring exhaust notes and massive slides. I should probably stop now before I get booked for imaginary speeding.

Here’s the ad.

Engine: 4,475 cc V8
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Horsepower: 420 bhp @ 6,750 rpm
Torque: 380 lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm
0-60: 3.9 secs
Maximum Speed: 195 mph
The good: The looks, the sound, goes like you wouldn’t believe
The bad: Tubular steel chassis, electrics, and clutch can prove troublesome

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