Ginetta is in the midst of a revival. The word chequered could have been invented to describe the manufacturer’s mix of fortunes between the retirement of its founders retired in 1989 and the arrival of this G40R. Times were particularly turbulent in the 1990s, when it battled against recessions and failures, despite creating cars as exciting as the G33.

However, under the stewardship of the Yorkshire-based LNT Group, which bought the company in 2005, Ginetta is now going places again. It has found a niche as a producer of racing cars. Around 150 a year roll out of its Leeds factory, in ascending order of potency, G40 Junior, G40, G50 and G55 forms.

Now Ginetta has made a comeback as a road-car producer too, firstly with the G40R that we’re testing here. which the G60 grand tourer  followed to market. Unsurprisingly, as the name suggests, the G40R is a road-going variant of the G40 race car. And that’s a big gamble because plenty of big names have failed to make the transition from track to Tarmac.

Ginetta hopes to find 100 homes a year for a car that can be driven to, around and home from a circuit. That’s a modest number for what is a significant market led by iconic names such as Lotus and Caterham.

At around £30,000, the G40R is keenly priced, but it finds itself not short of track-special rivals to compete with. The question is whether its circuit beginnings have spawned a fine road car.

Top 5 Lightweights

  • The new Morgan 3 Wheeler is a characterful, evocative and terrifically fun car to drive

    Morgan 3 Wheeler

    1
  • The Ariel Atom is superbike-fast, and as exhilarating as cars get

    Ariel Atom

    2
  • The Caterham Seven is the essence of a stripped-down sports car

    Caterham Seven

    3
  • Road-going version of the racing Elise. Suspension mods help make it an unbridled joy.

    Lotus Elise S Cup

    4
  • Zenos E10 S

    5

First drives

Videos

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    27 March 2015
    Lavishly-equipped, rugged-looking Peugeot 508 estate is a pleasant drive, but there are many more recommendable alternatives
  • 308 GT 1.6-litre petrol is priced from £24,095
    First Drive
    27 March 2015
    Peugeot's given the 308 the engine from the 208 GTi 30th and some chassis upgrades; we find out if the changes bring a bit of old-school Peugeot hot-hatch magic to this likeable family hatch.
  • Car review
    26 March 2015
    Does Suzuki's new city runabout have what it takes to succeed?
  • First Drive
    26 March 2015
    Collins Performance has given the Fiesta ST 270bhp and 265lb ft, but has our favourite fast Ford been ruined in the process?
  • First Drive
    26 March 2015
    The Seat Leon X-Perience is the closest thing to an SUV that you can buy with a Seat badge for now, blending estate practicality with off-road ability