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

  • Ariel Nomad
    Ariel Nomad is powered by a tweaked 2.4-litre normally aspirated Honda engine

    Ariel Nomad

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

    Morgan 3 Wheeler

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

    Caterham Seven

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

    Ariel Atom

  • Zenos E10 S

    Zenos E10


Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Ginetta range

Driven this week

  • BMW M240i
    First Drive
    26 October 2016
    More power, more speed, more noise: BMW's revamped and renamed performance coupé is sweeter than ever
  • Volkswagen Up High 1.0 TSI
    First Drive
    26 October 2016
    A new turbocharged three-pot injects some fun into VW's slick city car and makes it a more rounded package
  • 2017 Vauxhall Insignia prototype first drive
    First Drive
    25 October 2016
    We review the next-generation Vauxhall Insignia and find that, while still disguised and giving little away about its appearance, it's encouragingly good to drive
  • 2016 Ford Kuga ST-Line 1.5 Ecoboost 182
    First Drive
    25 October 2016
    The Kuga ST-Line is enjoyable to drive, but this version of the 1.5-litre Ecoboost engine doesn't suit Ford's SUV
  • Car review
    21 October 2016
    Can Seat’s first SUV impress, even with the heavy burden of expectation?