Perhaps the most pertinent way to frame this car’s straight-line performance is by considering that of the Ford Focus ST.

When we road tested that car, its 247bhp 2.0-litre turbo engine hustled some 1400kg-plus of bulk to 60mph in 6.3sec, which, while hardly electrifying, certainly isn’t what you’d call slow.

Richard Lane

Road tester
Tricky brake pedal means you lose time in the corners, unsure how hard you can slow the car. But apex speed is high

The Sport 250 uses the same engine but weighs less than half that, and the result is 0-60mph dispatched in just 3.6sec. You’ll struggle to go any quicker on four wheels for less cash.

Of course, with peak torque of 270lb ft arriving at 2500rpm and precious little weight over the rear axle, ultra-quick getaways require a little finesse, and even the super-sticky Toyo R888Rs of our car test car wilted under even a moderately committed opening of the throttle.

The same is true to some extent in second, third and even fourth gears, meaning that the Sport 250 is a car to provoke with a decent helping of caution.

However, Westfield has done sterling work in smoothing out this engine’s response and power delivery at low crank speeds, allowing you to enjoy its immense tractability without putting up with the stuttering driveline shunt that can plague powerful cars of this variety.

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At 1500rpm in third gear, there’s merely a deep breath as the turbocharger spools up and then you’re spirited – with smooth but vicious haste – into tunnel-vision territory. Acceleration begins to tail off only once you’re into triple figures, at which point a Caterham 620 would begin to pull away noticeably, according to our figures.

The Sport 250’s engine gets a big thumbs-up, then, and so does the short, stiff, accurate throw of the Mazda-sourced gearbox.

The braking system is more problematic, with an awkward surplus of dead travel in the pedal before caliper meets disc with any conviction. When that happens, it can do so abruptly, the system occasionally locking up.

Given that the brake pedal is set so much higher than the throttle, we see little reason for this characteristic, which curbs the car’s track-day appeal and the driver’s confidence on the road.

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