Through the middle of the G40R runs a drivetrain bought wholesale from Mazda, where it would normally be found in an MX-5 roadster. In the Mazda, it makes 157bhp, but here the 2.0-litre MZR engine produces a healthier 175bhp at 7000rpm, thanks to a Ginetta-specified ECU. The famously snickety gearbox, meanwhile, has six forward speeds and, because the powertrain donor is the MX-5 2.0i Sport, there’s a limited-slip differential at the rear.
Brakes and steering are unassisted (the steering rack is sourced from Ford, the brakes are ventilated discs front and rear), and the G40R is certified under IVA limited-volume approval, which allows Ginetta to register up to 300 of them a year. It has set itself the modest target of 100.
Ginetta has got the basics mostly right. The G40R’s engine fires to a promising idle, and although there’s a little hesitancy to small throttle inputs at low revs, it soon clears. There’s less refinement to the powertrain at mooching speeds than there is in, say, the highly polished responses of a Caterham Seven Supersport.
We’re loathe to criticise the Ginetta for that, though, because this, above all, is a car meant for larger throttle inputs, and it responds to those with all the enthusiasm and growl you’d hope for. Ask a lot of it, and it will pull strongly from around 2000rpm all the way to its 7000rpm limiter, from where a quick tug on the short gearlever will drop the engine right back into the meat of its rev band.
Ginetta claims a 0-60mph time of 5.8sec for the G40R, but with two occupants and a reasonable amount of fuel aboard, we were unable to better a 6.2sec time in one direction, and a 6.3sec average.
However, you should not infer from these figures that the G40R is not fast enough. We’ve no qualms about its straight-line or in-gear acceleration. It’s simply that it won’t reach the benchmark 60mph in second gear, and that start-line traction is compromised by Ginetta’s commendable decision not to equip the G40R with track-day special tyres, which would improve acceleration but might prove next to hopeless in the wet.