Ginetta G40 review

evo drives the Ginetta G40 sports car in racing spec at Silverstone. Lotus Elise worrier?

Evo rating
  • Cheap, accessible, fun to drive racer
  • The road version isn't here yet

What is it?The Ginetta G40, a new baby sports car from the Leeds-based company. There’ll be race and road versions, though the latter isn’t likely to appear until later in the year, costing around £30K. Here we sample the racing G40 at Silverstone. Technical highlights?The ingredients that go into making a G40 are refreshingly simple. An 1800cc Ford Zetec engine offering 140bhp is slung in the front of a lightweight rear-drive chassis, the kerb weight of just 850kg meaning a handy 167bhp/ton power-to-weight ratio. All G40s – road or race versions – will come with an FIA-approved roll cage. What’s it like to drive?Great fun. We drove G40s with two different set-ups around the National circuit, and while one wasn’t great (very soft front-end and exaggerated oversteer at the back), the other was spot on – oodles of grip and a sweetly mobile rear-end that, thanks to the reasonably low power output, is kept under control with ease as you power out of corners.  The steering is sweet and precise and the G40’s five-speed manual gearbox is as snappy and responsive as you could wish for. The brakes deserve a mention too – 280mm discs all round, with four-pot calipers to the front and two-pot at the rear, they scrub off speed with impressive clout. The G40 is a hugely fun car that’s easy and accessible to drive quickly. Good thing, as it’s the star of the Ginetta Junior Championship for 14-17 year olds. How does it compare?On the road, we suspect it wouldn’t feel quite as sharp as a Lotus Elise. It feels bigger, there’s more car around you, and it’ll likely be down a smidge of agility. We await one in roadgoing spec, of course. It’ll certainly push its most obvious foe quite hard when it does arrive. Anything else I need to know?You don’t have to be in the closing stages of puberty to race one. Snap up a G40 for £24,950 (plus VAT) and you can enter a number of race series, including the Britcar 24 hours. And if you fear 140bhp isn’t quite enough, Ginetta reckons the chassis can handle up to 300bhp, with a Cosworth turbo variant on the cards.

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