Currently reading: Greatest road test ever: Ginetta G33
Lightweight roadster was a dream to drive

Priced between the Caterham Seven HPC and TVR V8S, the gorgeous Ginetta G33 had huge failings but charmed us with its thunderous intensity.

With a front-mounted, all-aluminium 198bhp Rover V8 powering the rear wheels via the SDl’s five-speed manual gearbox and a limited-slip differential, the glassfibre-bodied G33’s 874kg kerb weight gave a higher power-to-weight ratio than a Porsche 911 Turbo. Acceleration was supercar grade, such as 3O-7Omph in 5.1sec, while ample low-end torque meant stunning in-gear progress. The Sierra Cosworth-sourced, unassisted brakes called for a firm boot but worked well.

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All-round double-wishbone suspension performed well on twisty, undulating roads, but a series of bumps could set the rear wheels hopping and potholes jarred. Grip was very strong, although tail-out slides were still readily available.

98 Ginetta g33 side profile

The fiddly, leaky, ingress-hampering hood was best left stowed. Cabin quality was decent but luxury and kit were in short supply. The seats were fixed and the pedal box was badly offset.

Fuel economy was reasonable for this genre of car.

95 Ginetta g33 front cornering

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For: Sensational looks and pace, exhaust note

Against: Rough and ready build, fiddly, leaky roof

96 Ginetta g33 interior

What happened next: Cosworth 2.0-litre turbo power was also tried in the G33, but financial troubles soon led the design to be licensed to a Swedish partner who stretched the chassis and added Volvo-sourced suspension, brakes and a 2.O-litre turbo four-pot to create the short-lived G34. The final derivative was the UK-produced, kit-only G4O, whose name is reprised by the current coupé.


97 Ginetta g33 rear quarter

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Price £19,965 Engine V8, 3946cc, petrol Power 198bhp at 5280rpm Torque 220lb ft at 3500rpm 0-60mph 5.3sec 0-100mph 14.0sec Standing quarter mile 14.1sec, 100mph Top speed 137mph Economy 18.7mpg

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russ13b 18 July 2022

Highlights how getting the last fiddly elements of a design sorted out can eat up too much of the budget.