So what would you call a TVR performance package?
TVR is an old school British manufacturer of high-end sports cars who will be offering cars again from 2017 (so they tell us). They, like many other manufacturers, offer performance enhancements to their customers and these performance packages have names like RS, Type R, GT3 R, and so on. However the name TVR gave its top performance package matches it’s traditional English background, Red Rose.
The TVR Performance Package
Red Rose was offered on later TVR Cerbera’s with the 4.5 liter engine, where they installed a new air intake, new exhaust ports, new injectors, and a new ECU mapping. This map was the best and probably cleverest part. The driver could still use the original ECU map for 95 RON petrol, but there was also a second map if you filled with higher octane 97 RON petrol.
The driver just had to press an unmarked button on the dash to enable the enhanced ECU mapping and TVR claimed the Red Rose package rose the 4.5 liter V8 engine from 420 to 440 horsepower.
The TVR Cerbera is a sports car manufactured by TVR between 1996 and 2003. The name is derived from Cerberus the three-headed beast of Greek legend that guarded the entrance of Hades. Given this naming format having ‘Red Rose’ as the name of the TVR performance package seems quite odd.
The TVR Cerbera was the third car manufactured by TVR under the leadership of Peter Wheeler (the first was the Griffith and the second was the Chimaera). The car represented three firsts for the Wheeler-led company:
- The first hard-top—the Griffith and the Chimaera were both convertibles
- The first 2+2—TVRs were traditionally two-seaters
- The first to be driven by TVR’s own engines—historically, TVR had purchased engines from mainstream manufacturers like Rover, Ford and Triumph
Prior to the Cerbera, TVR had purchased V8 engines from Rover and then tuned them for their own use. When Rover was purchased by BMW, Peter Wheeler did not want to risk problems should the Germans decide to stop manufacturing the engine. In response, he engaged the services of race engineer Al Melling to design a V8 engine that TVR could manufacture in-house and even potentially offer for sale to other car-makers.