Toniq-R

2-litre Ford power for Caterham alternative

Evo rating
Price
from £23,500
  • Chassis shows huge promise
  • No roof, no screen

One of the surprise packages of 2006 was the Toniq-R, a student project turned seriously convincing Caterham alternative. The first Toniq we tried was fitted with the flyweight Honda Fireblade engine, and its sweetly balanced chassis obviously benefited from the lack of weight sitting over the front wheels. However, the appeal of bike-engined cars is always very limited and this, the Ford Duratec-engined version, is the car that will sell in bigger numbers and perhaps be a truer indicator of Toniq’s ability to set up a trackday car.

Fully built, this 193bhp, 174lb ft Toniq costs £23,500. Great value when you consider how quickly the price of a similarly powerful Seven can escalate (our old R300 long-termer was nudging £30,000). But when you buy a Caterham you know you’re getting a truly outstanding drivers’ car. Does the Toniq-R really compare?

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

Well, it certainly feels at least as well built and the interior treatment is very nicely detailed. The driving position is spot-on, too. The engine feels crisp and urgent, if lacking the fireworks of a CSR or the snappy response of a K-series Caterham; the gearshift is short, meaty and precise. Only a slight dead patch at the top of the brake pedal’s travel seems at odds with the focus and precision of the rest of the controls.

The chassis, at least on Silverstone’s smooth surface, feels excellent. The steering is as quick as you’d hope, there’s loads of grip and ample traction from the Yokohama A048 rubber and the balance is nicely neutral. As speeds increase it doesn’t feel quite as pin-sharp, as communicative or as agile as a well sorted Caterham, but it’s as close as I’ve experienced from a Seven–alike. There’s just a shade too much turn-in and mid-corner understeer at present, but I’m sure with time it’ll get even better. Definitely worth a look.

Specifications

EngineIn-line 4-cyl, 1999cc, 16v
Max power193bhp @ 6500rpm
Max torque174lb ft @ 4500rpm
0-604.5sec (est)
Top speed140mph (est)
On saleNow
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/porsche/cayman/202238/porsche-cayman-gts-40-2020-review-a-cut-price-cayman-gt4
Porsche Cayman

Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0 2020 review - a cut-price Cayman GT4? 

The 2020 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0 regains its flat-six and therefore top-billing in the class. It’s a brilliant package for those whom a GT4 is a bit to…
16 Feb 2020
Visit/volkswagen/21153/2020-volkswagen-golf-r-mk8-spied-ahead-of-reveal
Volkswagen Golf R

2020 Volkswagen Golf R Mk8 spied ahead of reveal

Next-generation VW Golf R spotted cold weather testing prior to official launch
17 Feb 2020
Visit/aston-martin-valkyrie/17980/aston-martin-valkyrie-1160bhp-hypercar-undergoes-further-testing-at
Aston Martin Valkyrie

Aston Martin Valkyrie: 1160bhp hypercar undergoes further testing at Silverstone

Following its dynamic debut last summer, F1 drivers Max Verstappen and Alex Albon have put the Aston Martin Valkyrie to the test
18 Feb 2020
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019