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Steering, suspension and comfort

Two different steering racks are available on the Sport Turbo. The standard ‘Touring’ one, at 3.5 turns lock to lock, was fitted to our test car. There’s another, which whips a turn off that, available as an option. Likewise, the dampers on our test car were set up for a ‘fast road’ demeanour but can be wound tighter for track use. In short, though, what you’re looking at is a car that is meant for road touring and the occasional track day. Westfield offers more hardcore variants meant for more regular track use.

This means that, in general use, the Westfield is relatively compliant. Early Sport Turbos were, too, but they didn’t retain the fine body control that this car does. In a way it feels not unlike a Lotus – and we mean that as a compliment – in that the car remains admirably flat across most surface imperfections while you watch the 15-inch front wheels bob up and down independent of the body. The laws of physics, however, can’t be ignored. This is a light car (albeit heavier than a comparable Caterham), and is easily deflected by larger bumps, which deliver the sort of shock into the cabin you would expect.

It will understeer a little at its limit but can easily be coaxed into neutrality with a lifted throttle or a trailing brake. From that point on, it’s feasible to push into oversteer, but things conspire to discourage you.

Nonetheless, that compliance results in a fairly relaxed demeanour that suits its leisurely power delivery. Strange as it seems, it does make quite a good cruiser – not in the grand touring sense, admittedly, but the Westfield would make an amiable companion for a weekend away. Wind noise is (relatively) restrained and it’s a more habitable distance companion, certainly, than a Morgan Plus 8. If it had a stereo, we’ve no doubt you’d be able to hear it acceptably.

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It’s rather good fun to drive swiftly, too. The steering – while too slow for our tastes – is at least accurate, and there’s a lot of grip. But it’s a different kind of fun from most cars in this class – less keen, agile and adjustable, more soft, measured and rangy.