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Monday 21st March 2011

PH Investigates: Ginetta's Road Cars

The Yorkshire firm might be busy with its new, GT3-bound G55 racer, but road cars are coming...



You know when Ginetta is in town. Silverstone may be in Northants, but when the orange team trucks roll in from Leeds and the garages resound to 'ey up!' and 'now then!' it might as well be a satellite province of god's own county.

Ginetta's recent revival as builder of affordable race cars for BTCC-supporting one-make series and giant-killing GT4 performances has been nothing short of astonishing, with boss Lawrence Tomlinson combining his personal passion for racing and straight-talking Yorkshire business sense with great effect. On track, the new G55 - demonstrated at Silverstone - builds on the success of the Euro GT4-winning G50 and will soon be taking on the big boys in GT3. No lack of ambition there. But what about the road cars, namely the street version of the cute G40 racer and the reborn Farbio GTS, now known as the Ginetta F400?


As an off-the-shelf racer costing just £27,000, Tomlinson describes the G40 as a game-changer for Ginetta, the teeny, 1.8-litre Zetec powered coupe making a tempting proposition as a track day toy. But what of the long-promised road-legal version that'll let you leave the trailer at home and drive to the circuit yourself?

Last year Ginetta did exactly that, driving a factory-fresh G40 down the M1 to Silverstone (via Halfords for a £1.99 earthing strap) and racing to a class win and 12th overall in the Britcar 24-hour. Not bad for a car costing less than 30 grand with just 150hp under the bonnet. "The only reason we didn't drive it back on the Sunday was because our works driver pee'd on the seat during the race!" says Tomlinson, in typically direct style.


There's still some way to go before Tomlinson is happy to let the G40 out as a road car, though; refinements in the trim and day-to-day usability are still ongoing - 'some time in 2011' is the only current timescale for sales to kick off. A hoot to drive on track, this can't come soon enough though, the promised £30K price point seemingly pretty reasonable for a tough, race-honed giant killer like the G40.

It's a similar story with the F400, Ginetta now addressing quality issues Tomlinson sees as essential before he's happy to deliver the first batch of 20 or so cars to customers.


The fundamentals of distinctive and undeniably sexy styling, the exotic carbon fibre body and the resulting 911 Turbo-beating power-to-weight ratio from the 410hp supercharged Ford V6 are all appealing enough. Ditto the fabulous visibility from the cab-forward, mid-engined layout and lightness of foot that can only come from a car weighing half a tonne less than most of its competition. Twitchy, high-geared steering and a total lack of safety aids focus the mind, but there's little need for concern, the F400 proving stable and confidence inspiring at the wheel.

But people spending £95,000 on a supercar - people like Tomlinson in fact - have high expectations and until he's happy with the detailing like fit and finish, pedal positioning and telematics he's not willing to let the car out as a Ginetta. To speed up the process, this initial batch of cars has been brought up from the F400 production line in Wiltshire to Ginetta's Leeds base for a hands-on finishing process.


Rest assured that, as soon as they're ready, we'll be pestering Ginetta for a go in both the F400 and road-going G40 R at the earliest opportunity. Watch this space...

Photos: Dan Trent/Jakob Ebrey

 

 





Dan Trent
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dandarez

Original Poster:

5,495 posts

166 months

[news] 
Monday 21st March 2011 quote quote all
The road G40 is to have a 2.0 Duratec not the 'old' Zetec. Right price and this car is going to sell!!


Spiritual_Beggar

4,683 posts

77 months

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Monday 21st March 2011 quote quote all
I said it in the other thread last week....


Those F400's are real lookers! And performance to suit!

Price tag does put it amongst some serious competition though.

Hendry

1,945 posts

165 months

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Monday 21st March 2011 quote quote all
Something awry with the pricing. The Ginetta website shows the G40R road-going car as GBP30K + VAT, which is GBP36K of course. Far from 27K!

Dan Trent

Attendee

934 posts

51 months

PH Editor Bloke

[news] 
Monday 21st March 2011 quote quote all
Fair point - all Ginetta's quoted pricing for race cars and series entry is +VAT.

Dan

HebdenHedgehog

237 posts

51 months

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Monday 21st March 2011 quote quote all
Which makes it nearly the same as the mooted Alfa 4C - and both seem to be going for a market which is / was pretty much the sole reserve of Lotus?
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julian64

10,335 posts

137 months

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Monday 21st March 2011 quote quote all
The 95K needs to come down to 50K and then Ginetta will be the new TVR IMHO.

airportparking

1,196 posts

45 months

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Monday 21st March 2011 quote quote all
Nice but at close to £40k for me that's a bit much for a car such as this

Frimley111R

5,572 posts

117 months

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Monday 21st March 2011 quote quote all
HebdenHedgehog said:
Which makes it nearly the same as the mooted Alfa 4C - and both seem to be going for a market which is / was pretty much the sole reserve of Lotus?
The 4C will be +£50,000. Forget the quote figs. Look at its competitors and the prices of those which aren't build out of CF.

The other challenge Ginetta have is the game is moving fast and competing with Elises/Exiges isn't enough. They were designed 12 years ago and have been refined over time but are still falling back. Quality (and the best quality at that) is demanded by the majority of buyers today. People want Porsche quality for budget prices.

Tyre Tread

7,063 posts

99 months

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Monday 21st March 2011 quote quote all
julian64 said:
The 95K needs to come down to 50K and then Ginetta will be the new TVR IMHO.
You beat me to it!

Podie

41,196 posts

158 months

[news] 
Monday 21st March 2011 quote quote all
Hendry said:
Something awry with the pricing. The Ginetta website shows the G40R road-going car as GBP30K + VAT, which is GBP36K of course. Far from 27K!
Lawrence commented on the other thread that the website was wrong.

tim2100

6,183 posts

140 months

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Monday 21st March 2011 quote quote all
Was at silverstone that day.

Those F400's look fantastic, however at £95k are a tad expensive.

A Scotsman

949 posts

82 months

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Monday 21st March 2011 quote quote all
The G40R is a must have, very attractive proposition which should a very wide appeal.

However - bearing in mind that an MX5 is in £16/£17k range and an MR2 is not that much more then Ginetta need to be very careful when pricing the G40R.

TheOrangePeril

351 posts

63 months

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Monday 21st March 2011 quote quote all
Tyre Tread said:
julian64 said:
The 95K needs to come down to 50K and then Ginetta will be the new TVR IMHO.
You beat me to it!
I see your point, but with entry level Ferraris coming in at £160k+ surely the 'new TVR' would end up in a similar price bracket!

Prices are continuously climbing at every extreme - 200k supercars now cost 300k, 20k hot hatches now cost 30k. I would be very surprised if a car in the league of the last generations of TVRs (Tuscan 2, Sag etc) came to re-fruition at under 70-90k.

jazzyjeff

3,632 posts

142 months

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Monday 21st March 2011 quote quote all
A Scotsman said:
The G40R is a must have, very attractive proposition which should a very wide appeal.

However - bearing in mind that an MX5 is in £16/£17k range and an MR2 is not that much more then Ginetta need to be very careful when pricing the G40R.
But the MX5 and MR2 are not enthusiasts cars, nor are they in the same performance bracket, so I'd be surprised if there's much market overlap? The MR2 is not long for this world anyway...

JJ

Podie

41,196 posts

158 months

[news] 
Monday 21st March 2011 quote quote all
A Scotsman said:
The G40R is a must have, very attractive proposition which should a very wide appeal.

However - bearing in mind that an MX5 is in £16/£17k range and an MR2 is not that much more then Ginetta need to be very careful when pricing the G40R.
The MX5 and MR2 (is it still made?) are roadsters. The closest rival is the Elise, IMO.

Fittster

15,869 posts

96 months

[news] 
Monday 21st March 2011 quote quote all
jazzyjeff said:
A Scotsman said:
The G40R is a must have, very attractive proposition which should a very wide appeal.

However - bearing in mind that an MX5 is in £16/£17k range and an MR2 is not that much more then Ginetta need to be very careful when pricing the G40R.
But the MX5 and MR2 are not enthusiasts cars, nor are they in the same performance bracket, so I'd be surprised if there's much market overlap? The MR2 is not long for this world anyway...

JJ
Don't really think we are comparing like for like. The Ginetta is a much more specialised car than the MR2 and MX-5, the only true comparison is the Exige.

The MX-5 range is 19K-21K.

mitch78

958 posts

79 months

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Monday 21st March 2011 quote quote all
julian64 said:
The 95K needs to come down to 50K and then Ginetta will be the new TVR IMHO.
You're right. If they dropped it to ~£50k they would be the new TVR, unable to provide reliable cars for the money and bankrupt in no time.

A Scotsman

949 posts

82 months

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Monday 21st March 2011 quote quote all
Fittster said:
Don't really think we are comparing like for like. The Ginetta is a much more specialised car than the MR2 and MX-5, the only true comparison is the Exige.

The MX-5 range is 19K-21K.
What's with this "more specialised" tag.. This is a road car we're talking about not a race car and it's intended to be used in the same way as an MR2 or MX-5.

thewheelman

2,194 posts

56 months

[news] 
Monday 21st March 2011 quote quote all
jazzyjeff said:
A Scotsman said:
The G40R is a must have, very attractive proposition which should a very wide appeal.

However - bearing in mind that an MX5 is in £16/£17k range and an MR2 is not that much more then Ginetta need to be very careful when pricing the G40R.
But the MX5 and MR2 are not enthusiasts cars, nor are they in the same performance bracket, so I'd be surprised if there's much market overlap? The MR2 is not long for this world anyway...

JJ
The MX5 & MR2 not enthusiasts cars? Isn't that down to the individual enthusiasts tastes & budget? Both rwd fun & affordable. Oh, & the MR2 ceased production a good few years ago.

Cotty

Attendee

27,159 posts

167 months

[news] 
Monday 21st March 2011 quote quote all
Is this the interior of the G40?

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