The Ginetta G60 was the second new Ginetta road car we’ve driven recently, the first being the small, track-focused Ginetta G40 R coupé.

The G60 is a bigger car but with fewer sales ambitions to go with its higher price. Only around 50 will roll from Ginetta’s Yorkshire factory each year.

The G60 is in fact based on the Farbio GTS, the design for which Ginetta became the owners of when it bought the Bath-based firm. Like the GTS, the G60 is still carbonfibre tubbed and bodied, but everything from the front number plate backwards has been reworked.

The G60 now weighs just 1080kg, about 400kg less than the Farbio. Power is from a 3.7-litre Ford V6, making 310bhp at 6500rpm and revving out to 7000rp,. There’s no ABS, traction control, power steering or servo-assisted brakes; so although it is usable on a daily basis, you can infer that a G60 is likely to be a pretty hardcore machine compared to the traditional opposition. 

Our test car was a pre-production prototype, but the basics of it were very promising. Fundamentally the G60 has a lot of things going for it, and significant among them are the way it looks and feels. It’s a well proportioned car and two static examples, unveiled just before our drive, look very well finished. Buyers can opt for a variety of carbonfibre trim upgrades, paint finishes and interior trims as well.

The cabin layout is tidy and there’s a particularly nice central touch-screen to handle the entertainment and air-con systems. There’s not too much wrong with the driving position that slightly more space around the throttle wouldn’t fix, either.

It’s the fundamentals that are right about most other things, too. It’s impossible to properly gauge the way a car rides when you’ve only got a recently surfaced race track for company, but ride over the odd kerb and the G60 seems to have a well-damped, firm yet supple set-up, while maintaining very tight control of its body. That’s the hallmark of a properly sorted sports car.

It certainly sounds and goes like one. The V6 makes a proper yelp on full throttle, and the G60 took off down Silverstone’s straights at Aston V8-matching pace. The claim is a 0-60mph time of 4.9sec, which is feasible, as is the 165mph top end. Yet the engine note is suitably restrained should you back off, throttle response is linear and the gearshift positive. Ginetta wants the G60 to be a car you can use every day and, on this evidence, it is.

There are a few edges still to smooth out. The steering geometry isn’t yet optimised for the unassisted rack, so it weights up very quickly and is overly heavy once you’ve got some load in the tyres off straight ahead. Feel is excellent, but it will be made lighter overall – there’s less weight over the front wheels than in a G40 R so making it easier to steer shouldn’t be a problem.

The brakes, too, will be given more initial bite; at the moment they want a race car push to lose speed. What needs sorting is only really finessing, though, and the basic dynamics are extremely well sorted. The G60 grips like stink and telegraphs messages about what the chassis is doing superbly well. It sits somewhere between a Porsche Cayman R and a 911 GT3; louder and rawer than one, but less extreme than the other.

It’s early days but already this is a compelling machine. You’d have to make a few compromises, of course. When you buy a hand-built car which is one of only 50 built each year it’s inevitable that you’re not talking about quite the same thing as one that emerges in the tens of thousands

The Ginetta G60 is no better nor worse for that, it’s just different. And in this case, different definitely has its appeal.

Top 5 Sport coupes

  • The stated criteria for the GT86 read like a purist's manifesto: rear-drive, no turbo, ordinary tyres

    Toyota GT86

  • BMW M235i
    The BMW M235i is a rear-wheel-drive turbocharged coupé which rivals the likes of the Porsche Cayman

    BMW M235i

  • Peugeot RCZ R
    The front-drive RCZ R packs a 266bhp turbocharged engine

    Peugeot RCZ R

  • The hot Scirocco that blurs the line between coupé and hot hatch

    Volkswagen Scirocco R

  • Latest TT dares to shake the dust from the memory of the mighty five-cylinder Quattro

    Audi TT RS


First drives


Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    3 March 2015
    Sharper handling, more refined and better-looking. Still a bit rough around the edges, mind, but now good enough to be a class contender
  • Car review
    27 February 2015
    The second pure Mercedes-AMG model is a triumph of engineering and design, and should have rivals from Porsche and Audi worried
  • First Drive
    27 February 2015
    Dual motors and a power hike give Tesla's electric family car supercar acceleration - and the rest of the package is as strong as ever
  • Car review
    26 February 2015
    Flagship performance C-Class is more than ever a true rival for BMW's M3, and impresses with both its breadth of ability and its practicality
  • First Drive
    26 February 2015
    The new Renault Megane GT 220 is essentially a toned-down version of the hallowed Renaultsport 275, but does it have the required DNA?