Although the rise of the turbocharger is all around us, even on sports cars, it’s lovely to get back into a small, lightweight vehicle that has throttle response uncompromised by the need to spool up a turbine.
A supercharger – driven off the crank rather than exhaust gases – is a neat fit onto this 2.0-litre Ford Duratec, which is then dry-sumped and given a lightweight flywheel.
Throttle response, therefore, is quick, linear and positive. A prod of your right foot gives an immediate rev, and the more you prod, the more you get, in utterly expected amounts.
Those amounts, mind, are only an ankle-flex away from being tyre-rippingly severe, especially in cold, damp conditions.
That’s why we couldn’t coax the 620S to 60mph in anything less than 3.8sec, but given the conditions and the need for a gearshift between standstill and 60mph, we weren’t too unhappy about that.
We also test two-up and full of fuel, although that can be an advantage in a Seven, because it improves traction from rest.
The in-gear figures are similarly startling. No 20mph increment in second gear wants longer than 2.0sec. In third, beyond 30mph, each takes less than 3.0sec. And it’s telling, in third, how this engine delivers its power: 30-50mph takes 2.9sec but 70-90mph takes only 2.2sec, despite the Seven’s appalling aerodynamics playing a bigger part as speed rises.
The five-speed gearshift is a positive delight, too, allowing you to switch between ratios with little more than a flick of your fingers, while well-aligned pedals and that supremely predictable throttle response mean that heel-and-toe downshifts are as natural in this as in any other car in production.
The SV chassis even brings you a bit of extra room in the pedal box, so even those with feet bigger than a size eight won’t necessarily have to go shoeless.