TVR Cerbera: 4.2 and 4.5 are not so different?

If you’re in the market for a TVR Cerbera with AJP V8 engine you could resonably ask yourself which would be the best one for your tastes. I already wrOte something about this subject in the post “TVR Buying guide: TVR Cerbera 4.2 or 4.5?“. Now here are some considerations added to this stuff.

TVR Cerbera was produced from 1995 to 2005: TVR Cerbera MK1 (1995 – 2000) performs (claimed) 360 hp and TVR Cerbera MK1 4.5 gives 420 hp. For the 2000 model year, lights, A pillars, roofline and seats were changed and lightweight bonnet, doors and bootlid were introduced on the Cerbera 4.5. If the Cerbera was equipped with the Red Rose specification, output increased to calimed 440 hp.

Power is not assured?
In the quoted post above I wrote that CONDITIONs is the first fundamental aspect to consider. This is enough to make you take a decision towards a car you never considered before. For example: you’d love a mk2 4.5 but you found a great bargain with a Mk1 4.2 which was incredibly well maintained. You ought to choose the one in best conditions as this means less costs and more satisfaction for you.

After this, you have to consider that claimed power of different models is not assured. There are owners who drove different models and despite claimed data of the Cerbera they states there was no clear difference. Some owners solved the problems and, being the 3rd or the 4th owners, made a remapping of the engine or some other improvement to increase output.

As a basis attitude, of you’re going to have more than 400 hp on a TVR Cerbera, you should look for a late example. You should be confident of a higher quality than pristine units.

Late Cerbera 4.2…
There’s an interesting question to point out. A late 4.2 cerbera has a 4.5 engine with different inlet’s. The 4.2 inlet’s make it a better car to drive low down compared to a 4.5 due to the position of the injectors in relation to the throttle butterfly’s. It is possible to check if it has a 4.5 engine by looking at the engine number if it is a 4.2 it will have 4200 in the number and 4500 if it is a 4.5. The change came in late 1999 and the engine can be checked via the engine number (If it is a 4.2 then the engine number will say 4200 and if it is a 4.5 then it will say 4500). If it is a 4.5 inside but is in a 4.2 car the cam timing is also different but this can be adjusted to make it a true 4.5. Of course you could trasnform a 4.2 into a 4.5: if you use a 4.5 ECU and throttle body’s it would be a 4.5 set up, also the exhaust manifold’s were different.
The reason why TVR did this with the engine was to save on cost of not having to carry stock of different item’s for 4.2 and 4.5 Cerbera’s. Also the early 4.2 is known for it’s noisy cam’s, this is not a fault it is just due to the profile of the lobe on the cam.


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