What is it?
The Ginetta G60 is the second reason we’ve driven a new Ginetta road car in as many months; the first being the little Ginetta G40 R track-focused coupe.
The G60 is a bigger car but with fewer sales ambitions to go with its £68,000 price. Only around 50 a year will roll from Ginetta’s Yorkshire factory.
That it’s made in Garforth is a geographical change from when Ginetta bought Bath-based Farbio cars and this design with it, and it reflects the level of re-engineering the car has been through.
It’s still carbon-fibre tubbed and bodied, but everything from the front number plate backwards has had a rework in becoming the G60, to the extent that I wonder if it would have been easier to just design an entirely new car. “It probably would,” admits Ginetta’s boss Lawrence Tomlinson, “but then we wouldn’t have done it.” Saving what was a great looking – and decent driving – mid-engined sports car was the motivation behind it.
The G60 then, which goes into full production early next year, 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 7000. There’s no ABS, traction control, power steering or servo assisted brakes; so although daily usable, you can infer that a G60 is likely to be a pretty hardcore machine compared to the traditional opposition. Our test car was a leggy pre-production prototype, but the basics of it were right.
What’s it like?
Very promising. Fundamentally there’s lots going right with the G60. 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. 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 pretty easy to feel comfortable in the G60.
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 that 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, better than the one Lotus gets from its Toyota unit, and the G60 takes off down Silverstone’s straights at, I’d say, easily 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 overall be made lighter – 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, give it to them and they’ll lose the speed they ought to. What needs sorting is only really finessing, though – basically the dynamics are extremely well sorted. The G60 grips like stink and telegraphs messages about what the chassis is doing superbly well. In its focus I suppose it sits somewhere between a Porsche Cayman R and a 911 GT3; louder and rawer than one, but less extreme than the other.
Should I buy one?
Quite possibly; already the G60 is a compelling machine. You’d have to make a few compromises, of course. When you buy a hand-built car and that’s one of only 50 a year that’ll roll from the factory, it’s inevitable that you’re not talking about quite the same thing as one that emerges in the tens of thousands. The G60 is no better nor worse for that, it’s just different. And in this case, different definitely has its appeal.
Price: £68,000; Top speed: 165mph; 0-60mph: 4.9sec; Economy: 31mpg (tbc); CO2: tbc; Kerbweight: 1080kg; Engine: 3727cc, V6, petrol; Installation: Mid, transverse, rwd; Power: 310bhp at 6500rpm; Torque: 288lb ft at 4500rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd manual