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How much? £68,000
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 3721cc 24v V6, 310bhp @ 6500rpm, 288lb ft @ 4500rpm
Transmission: Six-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Performance: 4.9sec 0-60, 165mph, 31mpg
Need to know

CAR's rating

Rated 4 out of 54

Handling

Rated 5 out of 55

Performance

Rated 5 out of 55

Usability

Rated 3 out of 53

Feelgood factor

Rated 4 out of 54

Readers' rating

Rated 3 out of 53

Ginetta G60 (2011) CAR review

By Jethro Bovingdon

First Drives

21 October 2011 09:00

On paper the new Ginetta G60 looks likely to be a bit of a disaster: it’s had a painful birth, morphing from Farboud to Farbio to Ginetta over an agonising decade or so; it has a humble Ford V6 with just 310bhp under its exotic carbonfibre skin and yet looks to compete with a car as complete and sophisticated as the Porsche 911; and it has no power steering and the brakes don’t have ABS or a servo…

Like I said, it’s a tough sell. The one killer fact that could redeem it is an all-up weight of 1080kg – that’s 300kg less than a new 911 Carrera and 215kg lighter even than the Cayman R.

If it's so light, what are the bare stats for the new Ginetta G60 please?

Well aside from not fitting power assistance to anything (or ‘any nannying electronics’ as straight-talking owner Lawrence Tomlinson would put it), the G60’s carbonfibre bodywork that clads a light but stiff and strong tubular steel chassis is the real key. It means the Ford Mustang-sourced 3.7-litre V6’s 310bhp and 288lb ft give an Aston Vantage S-busting power-to-weight ratio and launches the mid-engined Ginetta to 60mph in 4.9 seconds and on to 165mph. The performance and carboncentric construction go some way to justifying the £68,000 price of entry.

And then there’s the way this thing looks. It really is a feelgood design – low and athletic, loaded with promise and a hint of glamour. It might not have the brutal outrageousness of TVRs of old, but it’s a sophisticated and exciting car to be around. Today we’re driving a slightly leggy pre-production car but the orange car you see in the pictures has some lovely carbon detailing, too. Makes you just want to jump in and drive.

Blimey, the interior isn’t bad either. There’s a carbon centre console housing a touchscreen control system for everything from the climate control to the audio and sat-nav functions that works really well. Plus there are neat silver-faced dials behind a funky, thick-rimmed carbon steering wheel and the driving position is great. The way you feel like you’re sat right at the pointy end of an arrow is very NSX and somehow very exotic. For a low volume sportscar the quality and the whole vibe is professional, grown-up and really gets your nerves tingling with anticipation.

How does the G60 drive?

The bad news is that the steering is very heavy at low speeds and that the brakes are almost solid, requiring a seriously hefty shove. If you’ve never been in a racecar you’ll struggle to get past the intimidation factor to actually enjoy the feel once you start to work them hard. Everything else is very good. The engine is beautifully torquey, the gearbox clicks between shifts with precision and the pedal box is spot-on. Even better the G60 gets the detail right – it’s refined when you’re ambling or cruising and then ramps-up the noise when you start to work the V6 harder.

On the ragged roads near the Silverstone launch venue the G60 is physical but poised and fluent. Two things stand out – the absolute rigidity of the structure and the sheer energy of that V6. It had registered that the G60 was a featherweight but it’s hard to imagine just what 310bhp can do to 1080kg until you crack open the throttle and leap towards the next corner. And what a noise! At high revs it sounds like a giant elastic band has been twanged behind your head – a deep, jagged howl.

What else?

The low mass has benefits in handling terms, too. The G60 might have heavy steering but there’s little doubt that you’re turning a light car from the way it resists understeer and seems immune from body roll. The rigid chassis plays its part here, not emitting so much as a creak and allowing the suspension to work at optimum efficiency. I’d say the set-up is a little too stiff for most UK roads at the moment but the dampers are fully adjustable so this should be easy to rectify.

Tomlinson is determined that the G60 doesn’t need power steering, brakes or ABS and I can see his point. At anything over about 40mph the steering is wonderfully detailed and brilliantly responsive, the brakes are terrific and even the torque of the V6 won’t trouble the rear tyres unless you’re on a track or driving like a lunatic. However, not all of us have won Le Mans and ABS is one of those things you only need once in a blue moon – but then you really need it.

Still, with a target of just 50 G60s globally per year I think Ginetta will find and fill a niche comfortably. Ginetta say they’re working to lighten the steering at low speed and building a bit more travel into the brake pedal for ease of use. If they can deliver on those promises this will be a very hard car to ignore for people whom prize dynamics and fun above key-ring cachet.

Verdict

The G60 isn’t some knocked-together British sportscar built in a shed in Leeds. It’s a well-sorted, well-finished and exciting drivers’ car and a unique experience. Can’t wait to see where they go from here.  

>> Click 'Add your comment' below and let us know what you think of the Ginetta G60

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varunjk

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varunjk says

RE: Ginetta G60 (2011) CAR review

This Ginetta is making itself a hard car to like. Granted, it does look very pretty face-on and the stance is pleasingly purposeful, but I'm not fond of the excessively kit-car esque detailing at the back, nor the below-average interior, and from what you say the steering and brakes do not seem particularly comfortable to use daily. I liked this car when it was the Farbio GTS, and was hoping that it would graduate from being a slightly old-fashioned supercar to a modern, beautifully designed and fully usable one. Unless this car is given a thorough, comprehensive refresh in year or so, I don't see it having much of a shelf life.

27 October 2011 13:55

 

Sam the Eagle

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Sam the Eagle says

RE: Ginetta G60 (2011) CAR review

@wittgenfrog

well (and very eloquently) spoken. All that's missing to your last post is a conclusive word but is there one?

 

 

23 October 2011 20:41

 

wittgenfrog

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wittgenfrog says

RE: Ginetta G60 (2011) CAR review

Clearly this particular car has attracted a group of rather like-minded enthusiasts.  Sadly it also appears that most of us can't actually afford one!   Personally I see a car with this level of performance as rather more a track-day than a daily-driver.  While I'm happy to drive within my limits and without driver aids, there can be unexpected things around the corner.  At this point the driver aids can be the difference between life & death: yours or someone else's.  Awareness of this tends to make me even more cautious!

It all comes back to what one is expecting from 'driving'.   Driving involves hugely complex real-time computational and motor-skills and for me a large part of the pleasure is to execute these processes as well as I can.  In addition you get a nice splodge of g-forces acting upon you which not only feed directly into the process of driving, but also simply feel good.   Speed is a contingent not a causative factor, though the stimulii are greater as speed increases.  In very fast cars where electronics does a lot of the work, it is my view that although the sensations are amplified they are somehow 'coarsened'. 

Of course when you move from the road to the track, and especially into competition, the object of the exercise changes and speed becomes all-important....

23 October 2011 19:39

 

trocadero

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trocadero says

RE: Ginetta G60 (2011) CAR review

 @Robby1977,

 

I totally agree a lack of ABS and other driver aids is not a risk if you know you don't have them.

 

In my own case it was lack of talent and close proximity of stone walls on Isle of Man roads without speed limits that made me sell a Maserati Bora and buy a safer(?) Elise with ABS etc. 

The fact the Elise is between 30 and 50 mph slower on any open stretch of road could have more to do with it!!

23 October 2011 15:45

 

andehans

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andehans says

RE: Ginetta G60 (2011) CAR review

 Did someone accidentally leave a strip of led's in the headlights?

22 October 2011 20:26

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