Retro Reviews: TVR Cerbera 4.5 – “Touching Pagani Zonda Standards…”

What’s expected in a British 4 seater 2 door coupe? V8 engine? Sleek and aerodynamic body perhaps? Around 400bhp to play with? Maybe even a moderate top speed of 160-170mph? All of these things can be found in British coupes, such as Jags, Astons etc. But that’s like saying that a story can be judged from the book’s cover and blurb. When you’ve read that back page, you may think that you have a great idea of what the story within is all about. However in reality, you never know what the result may be. And sometimes, you’ll be given the shock of your life!

You may think that the Ferrari 360 or the Porsche 911 Turbo were the ultimate supercars of the rise of the new millennium. But don’t be so sure, because in reality, you have to visit Blackpool. Home to the 4.5 litre TVR Cerbera!
This was a thoroughbred British supercar, that shocked the life out of angry Lamborghinis and fighting Ferraris! (Not to mention my own as well) Coming up now is a review of one of the world’s most forgotten, underestimated performance car!

Power And Speed- All of Which is Mental-


TVR Cerbera Engine Bay


The Cerbera I experienced was the later 4.5 litre model (With the ‘Red Rose’ option), which had a flat-plane crank V8 which could give the emotion of surprise, to any onlooker.
If you think that 440bhp from this beast isn’t enough, then you have to realise that the Cerbera weighs just 1060kg. LESS than a 15 year old Ford Fiesta! This car has a power to weight ratio of very nearly 440bhp per tonne, that’s touching Pagani Zonda standards!

This doesn’t initially come to your belief when you’re driving along at a 40mph speed limit, the ride is firm, but definitely not uncomfortable. At low cruising speeds at 2000rpm, the Cerbera feels no different to a conventional XKR or a DB7. It’s incredibly civilized actually, of course, you will notice the bumps and shakes due the low springs and the very low profile tyres fitted to the massive rims.  I was expecting a crashing about to my spine, but on the rough potholed roads around Birmingham Airport, it coped quite alright. However, DON’T think you’re going to have a relaxing journey!

Because drop down into 2nd gear, wait for a taxi to move out of the way, smash your foot on the gas. And oh my……
This car isn’t just quick for an old supercar, it’s TERRIFYINGLY insane for anybody’s standards! Your back is nailed into your seat, your head is forced to majestically stare at the top of the windscreen while the trees and streetlights are just an unrecognisable blur. Then again, it’s small wonder. Because this brute from Blackpool accelerates from 0-60 in just 3.8 seconds! And goes onto a top speed, of a mind boggling 193mph!

Our main man Niaz tested the Audi R8 V10 ‘Plus’ before on R.I.D, [CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE] which he describes the speed as; “​quick enough to make my butt clench in terror and my eyes widen with fear”

Remember, that car is fairly new. Whereas the Cerbera 4.5 I tested is 10 years older, so the idea that the cars are almost exactly the same in terms of performance, is just astonishing! And coupled to the fact that the Cerbera weighs just 1060kg makes the acceleration, ever so more shocking.
In short, this is one HELL of a fast car! Mental, is the first word that comes to mind when I think about the performance of this car. 

Weird, But Awesome Quirks!


Purple TVR Cerbera


TVRs of the early 21st century have always had some form of oddness about them, from the little things like a button, to huge things like an engine, have always spiced up TVR’s character. And the insane Cerbera is no exception.

The first thing you notice, can be found when simply getting into the thing. To open the door, you have to push a button UNDERNEATH the mirror. Which slides down the window, and power opens the door to your hand. Who needs handles when you have awesome stuff like this? And also, there’s the styling of the car itself.
It’s one of the hardest cars to describe the look of in detail. I mean, it’s unmistakably a 2+2 front engined coupe, like a Jag or an Aston. But with perhaps, a Sci-Fi twist. The Cerbera looks like it was designed by the same man who sketched out something out of Star Trek! And the car I had was in the distinctive ‘Reflex Purple’ which established the themes of weirdness. But you have to say, it looks freaking awesome! A classic GT racer, from outer space!

Once more, despite the power and performance. The Cerbera has NO electronic driver aids! What was needed to handle this car properly was skill and talent, something that supercars of today are forced to have. This car takes you back to a time, where the owners of these fast machines were trained beast keepers, not rich YouTube celebs. Give the Cerbera to a young Lamborghini Huracan owner, and I guarantee he/she won’t be able to handle it!
There’s a true sense of danger within the Blackpool Trevor, and that’s a thrilling feeling when you’re experiencing this kind of performance. It makes the car ever so more….exciting! And we love that kind of thing.

And the quirks don’t end there either, there’s the bushiness of the engine.

The 4.5 litre flat-plane 95 degree V8 has different levels of character to it. At low revs, it puts you in mind of a classic European supercar. It has similar exhaust crackles and mild spits to a Jaguar E-Type’s straight six, and at 2500rpm, you’re instantly reminded of a Maserati 3500GT. However, that’s where the old trends end with this fabulously weird engine.
Whilst accelerating, building up the revs and forcing through the gears. The high end screams and shouts have similar references to (and this is very high praised) a Ferrari 458! Keep in mind that this is a naturally aspirated engine, no turbos or superchargers to spoil the noise. This has to be one of the most varied charismatic engines I’ve ever come across. Such a great noise! 

A Wonderfully Strange Interior-


TVR Cerbera Interior


There’s not much to the interior at a glance. There’s a radio, a few heater and air-con knobs, and…..a steering wheel with buttoned indicators and the start button. This may be quite scarce by today’s standards, due to the fast development of technology. But the fact that TVR spent more time on the aesthetics, rather than the function, makes the Cerbera SUCH a nice place to be! The combination of blue and cream leather makes an IKEA kitchen section look bland. And the curves, and the overall design of the dashboard is unbelievably lavish.

You were always told in school, that there was nothing wrong with being different. And whoever designed the interior of this car took that advice, and went bonkers with it. It makes a Porsche 911’s interior look spartan!
There’s even dials underneath the steering wheel, for a weird fighter plane style cockpit effect. That’s awesome if you ask me, and you can clearly see them, as the steering wheel gaps are much larger than other cars in it’s class.
Then there’s the seating position, I’ve honestly sat lower on my butt whilst sitting on a cushion! You get that feeling that you’re about to experience something fast, so TVR had thought about getting the driver and passenger sat properly, before they can experience the terror! And I like that kind of thinking.

If I was to criticize, then maybe I would complain about the fact that this incredibly dangerous car hasn’t got any airbags. But then again, would this make the driver better? Because there are way too many fast cars which can be driven by any old schoolboy. The Cerbera demands respect, if you’re going to stay in that wonderfully weird interior.

Overall Verdict-


Purple TVR Cerbera


To close this review, I have 3 things to say about this INSANE British monster. 

1. I just can’t stress enough how stupidly quick this thing is! Do not underestimate the sheer power, torque and speed of this thing! If you do, then shock will haunt you for the rest of your life. Let that 0-60 time of 3.8 seconds stick in your head. Oh yeah, and the fact that this car produces 440bhp and only weighs 1060kg! Result….. Scary.

2. This Cerbera can be bought for as little as £20,000! (thanks depreciation)  (For the smaller engined versions, but still amazingly fast) If you ask me, that’s a bargain price for such an awesome and underrated supercar! 


3. The quirks and themes of weirdness make the Cerbera 4.5 (with the face-lift) incredibly appealing, other supercars just seem old fashioned in terms of styling. A love or hate thing I guess. (I love it 🙂 

Written by Aaron Hussein

And that’s the end ladies and gentlemen! We hope you enjoyed the review of the insane 4.5 litre TVR Cerbera! As always, if you have anything to say, please don’t hesitate to tell us below. 


So that was a review on the Cerbera:

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 Be sure to check out review on the Nissan Sylphy – A Complete Change Of A Car Which Is “A Terrible Joke…”

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