RE: Ginetta G40 R | Spotted

RE: Ginetta G40 R | Spotted

Sunday 3rd November

Ginetta G40 R | Spotted

The best antidote to semi-autonomous driving? A racing car for the road...



PH has a Volkswagen Passat R-Line in at the moment; without giving away the verdict of an upcoming review, it's proving to be quite the long-distance cruiser. 272hp, long gears and adaptive dampers make munching hundreds of miles at outside lane pace an effortless occasion for the driver - especially when adaptive cruise handles the pedals, and lane keep assist reduces the steering load. It practically drives itself on the motorway, with the soft, fleshy thing behind the wheel there simply to ensure all remains in check while they listen to podcasts and work through a family-sized pack of Maltesers.

At the other end of the automotive bookshelf we find cars like the Ginetta G40R. This back-to-basics two-door does not understand how to regulate its own speed, nor does it recognise the importance of white lane lines or have space for bags of chocolate. The soft, fleshy thing behind the steering wheel is so integral to the process of driving it that they're best held tight in place via a set of harnesses, to avoid misreading the messages passed through its chassis. The G40R is a genuine G40 racing car with little more than numberplates slapped onto its nose and bum to keep the fellows at the DVLA happy. It does not, like so much and the Passat in particular, practically drive itself.


Many of those who've raced G40s will tell you of the challenge provided by these Yorkshire-made machines. Indeed, a short stint in one at Brands Hatch a few years back showed to this wannabe racer just how 'agile' they can be, with high-speed oversteer down Paddock Hill Bend confirming that the G40 is a car that needs to be learned before it gives up the goods. Learn to work with its natural nimbleness, however - enabled by a supermini-sized wheelbase and 850kg kerbweight - and the G40 quickly turns into one of the most rewarding driver's cars money can buy.

The naturally-aspirated 2.0 Duratec under the bonnet has a Fiesta ST-matching 200hp, but with so little mass 60mph comes in just 5.5 seconds - and that's with a five-speed manual gearbox, rather than the sequential bolted into the G40's higher-spec siblings. Drive is transmitted to the rear wheels via a limited-slip differential, while double wishbone suspension at the front and rear gives the car fantastic body control and athletic responses to driver inputs. Where a Passat is deliberately rubberised, the G40R is unfiltered and pure. And brilliantly fast as a result.


That does, of course, all come at great cost. Only a madman would set off for a long motorway stint in the G40R, and they'd have to be a fan of heavy steering, road noise and a fidgety ride. G40Rs, even with an MOT certificate to permit their use on the streets, are often best transported on a trailer to open roads or the race track, where the car's motorsport roots enable it to hammer around lap after lap with no brake fade and consistent pace. G40Rs are not cheap, at more than Β£43k, but they're a league ahead of Porsche Caymans and similar sports cars in this regard.

Today's Spotted looks to be a good example that draws a nice bridge between a proper racing car and those road-focussed equivalents. This 2014 car has covered 5,500 miles, which is a decent distance for a G40R, likely thanks in part to the fitment of air conditioning and a heated windscreen, although with a roll cage and fire extinguisher on board, you'd be hard pressed to describe this as anything less than a racing car for the road. That being said, at Β£26,000 it's also firmly in hot hatch territory and therefore a significant chunk less than similar-aged Porsches. Although you do at least get a radio in those...


SPECIFICATION - GINETTA G40R
Engine:
1,999cc, in-line 4-cyl (Ford Duratec)
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 200@6,700rpm
Torque (lb ft): 140@5,000rpm
MPG: 29mpg (Ginetta figure)
CO2: 181g/km
First registered: 2014
Recorded mileage: 5,500
Price new: c. Β£43,200
Yours for: Β£26,000

See the original advert here.



Author
Discussion

Esceptico

Original Poster:

1,935 posts

56 months

Sunday 3rd November
quotequote all
I used to have a hot rod early 911 with stripped out interior and a loud exhaust. With some earplugs it was fine driving from London to Wales and then on another trip up to and around Scotland.

Would this Ginetta be any worse? I’m sure it wouldn’t be as comfortable as a normal car but like my 911, much more fun when you got to the good roads.

chelme

679 posts

117 months

Sunday 3rd November
quotequote all
I remember Ginetta trying to, through the help of Autocar, persuade potential buyers that this car was a great road sports car...akin to a hard top MX5 with extra sting.

I was nearly taken with it to be honest, until I looked at the fit and finish of these things, which from a design and engineering perspective seemed like a vehicle built in a shed.

It highlights, how far the European countries like Germany, Italy and France (not the mention other manufacturing countries like Japan) have come with engineering; hence people opting for Mazdas, Porches, Fiats and Alpines, over this little number.

Shame because at first glance, it is an attractive little pocket rocket.

thegreenhell

6,257 posts

166 months

Sunday 3rd November
quotequote all
chelme said:
I remember Ginetta trying to, through the help of Autocar, persuade potential buyers that this car was a great road sports car...akin to a hard top MX5 with extra sting.

I was nearly taken with it to be honest, until I looked at the fit and finish of these things, which from a design and engineering perspective seemed like a vehicle built in a shed.

It highlights, how far the European countries like Germany, Italy and France (not the mention other manufacturing countries like Japan) have come with engineering; hence people opting for Mazdas, Porches, Fiats and Alpines, over this little number.

Shame because at first glance, it is an attractive little pocket rocket.
Perhaps because it is a vehicle built in a shed? I suspect their entire development budget is a tiny fraction of what Mazda, Porsche, Fiat and Alpine put into designing just the cupholders in their cars.

AndrewGP

1,350 posts

109 months

Sunday 3rd November
quotequote all
When I'm too old and knackered to get in and out of my Caterham, this is where my money will be going.

The fact that it might be bit flaky on the build quality all adds to the charm and sense of occasion! I'll have mine in a bright colour and with a very loud exhaust thanks biggrin

Pooh

3,174 posts

200 months

Sunday 3rd November
quotequote all
Sounds like fun but how would it cope with a typical British B road? Would it be too stiff and end up skipping about on the bumps?

Turbobanana

1,536 posts

148 months

Sunday 3rd November
quotequote all
chelme said:
I remember Ginetta trying to, through the help of Autocar, persuade potential buyers that this car was a great road sports car...akin to a hard top MX5 with extra sting.

I was nearly taken with it to be honest, until I looked at the fit and finish of these things, which from a design and engineering perspective seemed like a vehicle built in a shed.

It highlights, how far the European countries like Germany, Italy and France (not the mention other manufacturing countries like Japan) have come with engineering; hence people opting for Mazdas, Porches, Fiats and Alpines, over this little number.

Shame because at first glance, it is an attractive little pocket rocket.
Umm, not sure if serious...

Terminator X

8,085 posts

151 months

Sunday 3rd November
quotequote all
Wonderful looking machine!

TX.

Edit - advert now says POA!

aka_kerrly

10,983 posts

157 months

Sunday 3rd November
quotequote all
I think the first time I saw one of these was at the Autosport show & it struck me that it is so close to my idea of motoring perfection that it really ought to be made by a mainstream manufacture so that they are sold in numbers and stand a chance of depreciating.

That said as the GT86 shows cracking the enthusiast market is bloody hard so now it's more a case of i'm glad these Ginettas exist but realistically doubt I'l get my hands on one.




lotuslover69

144 posts

90 months

Sunday 3rd November
quotequote all
chelme said:
I remember Ginetta trying to, through the help of Autocar, persuade potential buyers that this car was a great road sports car...akin to a hard top MX5 with extra sting.

I was nearly taken with it to be honest, until I looked at the fit and finish of these things, which from a design and engineering perspective seemed like a vehicle built in a shed.

It highlights, how far the European countries like Germany, Italy and France (not the mention other manufacturing countries like Japan) have come with engineering; hence people opting for Mazdas, Porches, Fiats and Alpines, over this little number.

Shame because at first glance, it is an attractive little pocket rocket.
British Layland killed off the uk car industry by buying up all the car companies and then mismanaging them and running them all into bankruptcy.

A1VDY

921 posts

74 months

Sunday 3rd November
quotequote all
2 litre duratec naturally aspirated and rated at 200hp at only 6700 rpm? Something doesn't ring true here..

s m

18,131 posts

150 months

Sunday 3rd November
quotequote all
chelme said:
I remember Ginetta trying to, through the help of Autocar, persuade potential buyers that this car was a great road sports car...akin to a hard top MX5 with extra sting.

I was nearly taken with it to be honest, until I looked at the fit and finish of these things, which from a design and engineering perspective seemed like a vehicle built in a shed.
I remember them testing one and wondered if the quoted 175bhp was somewhat over-inflated as with a sub 900kg kerbweight it managed to be less performant than an old E36 328 Touring which weighed 1.5 times as much with only 10% more poke.

The handling hopefully is some recompense

Mr MXT

7,132 posts

230 months

Sunday 3rd November
quotequote all
A1VDY said:
2 litre duratec naturally aspirated and rated at 200hp at only 6700 rpm? Something doesn't ring true here..
175bhp according to other G40R articles.


s m

18,131 posts

150 months

Sunday 3rd November
quotequote all
Mr MXT said:
A1VDY said:
2 litre duratec naturally aspirated and rated at 200hp at only 6700 rpm? Something doesn't ring true here..
175bhp according to other G40R articles.
Yes, unless that’s an uprated lump

Autocar got 60 in 6.3, 100 in 17.2 with a 175bhp version
28mpg average

You’d perhaps expect a little more performance as the original Lotus Elise with 118bhp achieved similar with a bit less weight



Buzzfan

50 posts

141 months

Sunday 3rd November
quotequote all
lotuslover69 said:
British Layland killed off the uk car industry by buying up all the car companies and then mismanaging them and running them all into bankruptcy.
The mergers started 15+ yrs before BL came into existence, out of necessity due to an excess of brands, manufacturing competing cars from 40 plants, and unsurprisingly a lack of profits to reinvest in new models to compete with the bigger international manufacturers - Ford, GM & later the Japanese makers mainly.

BL was a necessity merger between BMH & Leyland Motors and didn't buy up any other car makers - actually, it was the opposite, with Jaguar sold off before BL was itself sold to BAE. BL's problems, which led to collapse, nationalisation and eventual sale to by BAE to BMW, were much more to do with the 1970's labour issues (itself a bigger British industry hari-kiri story), and perhaps lack of sufficient capital from the outset.

from wiki on BMH "....The Wilson Labour Government (1964–1970) came to power at a time when British manufacturing industry was in decline and decided that the remedy was to promote more mergers, particularly in the motor industry. Chrysler was already buying into the Rootes Group, Leyland Motors had acquired Standard Triumph in 1961 (and would buy Rover in 1967) and had become a major automotive force. The British Motor Corporation (BMC) was suffering a dramatic drop in its share of the home market. Tony Benn, appointed Minister of Technology in July 1966, brought pressure to bear on the industry and one result was BMH's merger with Leyland to form British Leyland..."

Edited by Buzzfan on Sunday 3rd November 23:20


Edited by Buzzfan on Monday 4th November 16:43

300bhp/ton

37,723 posts

137 months

Sunday 3rd November
quotequote all
Really like the look of these, but they have always seemed rather pricey and not dropped as much as hoped. Either that or very hard to find for sale.

In a way almost my ideal commuter car.

SpudLink

2,637 posts

139 months

Monday 4th November
quotequote all
I looked at these a few years ago when Ginetta were advertising them at just over £30k. Included in the purchase price was a season of racing. (5 rounds if I remember correctly.) I was very tempted. But in reality the cost of racing would, I suspect, grow far beyond my means.

I still really like them. Sure, they don’t have the fit and finish of the modern sports/GT cars, but that’s not what it’s about. I think they compete with cars like the Elise and the Seven, depending on your preference for engine location, wind in your hair, and ratio of B-road vs track driving.

Jimbo89

127 posts

91 months

Monday 4th November
quotequote all
I have a G40, not an R but a later 1.8l car, started as GRDC specification (and fully road legal) in 2017 and I've raced it every year since.

These things are not great on the road. My car is touring spec, so extra sound deadening and flocked interior, but even so this is not an elise. Mine has 135bhp, no traction control, no ABS, no brake servos, no power steering, no anything. On the old dampers (changed with regs when I moved from GRDC to G40 Cup) they were either so firm the car would jump off the road or so soft it would bottom out on a small bump. It's slower than almost anything on the road, despite weighing very little, the brakes are terrible on the road and the fit and finish is race car levels (looks great from the edge of the track and a bit wonky up close, look at any race car).

That being said, it's quite comfortable on a long drive (I did a round trip to Rockingham once, about 280 miles in a day) even if you're 6'5" like me. They're reliable, rare on the road, the Ginetta team are great and they're made in the UK. I love mine to bits.

Mines done 6k miles and about 1000 were on the road. Race cars are cheaper too, you can pick them up in a road legal spec for £14-17k + VAT.

Get it on track though and all of a sudden it makes 100% absolute sense. If you get a chance (https://want2race.co.uk/) go and give one a go.



PR0553R_15

1 posts

Monday 4th November
quotequote all
The car is not for show, it’s not to be the best looking or the best built. It’s design is for kids to get into racing, designed to be smashed every race... if your looking for a daily driver, don’t look here, they’re very small and cramped inside and have hard suspension for the roads

soad

30,449 posts

123 months

Monday 4th November
quotequote all
Amusing write up, has to be said. laugh

Cotty

34,229 posts

231 months

Tuesday 5th November
quotequote all
PR0553R_15 said:
The car is not for show, it’s not to be the best looking or the best built. It’s design is for kids to get into racing, designed to be smashed every race... if your looking for a daily driver, don’t look here, they’re very small and cramped inside and have hard suspension for the roads
Sounds a bit like an Elise.