The Ginetta G40R is an interesting car to drive, and an unusual one even among its peers. Its natural rivals are two featherweight roadsters with an advantage of weighing several hundred kilos less (the Caterham Seven and the Ariel Atom), and it’s clear that their lighter weight gives them easier, more responsive steering.
The G40R has heavier and slightly cumbersome steering at low speeds – heavier even than the Lotus Elise’s – which adds to an impression that it’s an uncompromised track car that has sought respite between a pair of number plates. As speeds rise, the steering lightens and improves in its response and the consistency of its weight and feel. The G40’s ride improves, too, higher speeds allowing its springs and dampers room to work at settling the body over lumps and bumps that, at town speeds, has occupants jiggling around the cabin.
If you’re thinking that there’s a pay-off for the low-speed recalcitrance when you start pressing on, you’d be right. The G40R is not so fast that its performance can’t be enjoyed on the road, where its minimal size and fine gearing make it a very rewarding steer across country roads. Body control is excellent and its track upbringing gives it a sense of purpose and security.
It is at its best, though, on a closed circuit, where it is less agile than a Caterham or Atom but, true to its roots, is very stable. It holds exceptional corner speed and offers little understeer or oversteer unless provoked.
The G40R’s brakes, which could use more initial bite, are excellent and immune to fade. It all adds up to the sort of car in which you could drive all day on a circuit, slowly chipping away at a lap time and having great fun into the bargain.