Auto Express


The best of British - the Rover V8 in a small, light sports car with awesome handling and head-turning looks.

WITH a 200bhp, V8 engine, and reinforced polyester resin body bonded to an all-steel tubular the G33 is impressive enough on paper. On the road its better still, and will leave the majority of “perfomance cars“ gasping for breath. For the record, Ginetta rates the car as a 150mph, five second to sixty machine. Driving it, you aren’t interested in the figures, you are much to busy enjoying the experience. One of the best things about the car is purely emotive - the sound that it makes. Rover V8s pop up all over the place, but nowhere do they sound as raw, powerful and downright evil as in the G33. From a deep boom at 1500 rpm, to a wonderful bark at 4000 rpm and beyond, there’s nothing quite like it.

The G33's distinctive twin rear bulges echo the Jaguar C and D-type

A by-product of the aural assault is storming acceleration, regardless of which gear you're in. The engine is flexible enough to pull from as low down as 1,500rpm, even in the higher gears, and flooring the throttle is an absolute joy. If the Ginetta has a black heart, the good news is that the chassis and suspension are up to the task of handling it. Road holding is very good, body roll almost non-existent and grip prodigious. Overall, the G33 we drove proved extremely capable, with only two points against it. Long, bumpy corners unsettled the car, making the rear skittish, and the brakes were devoid of feel. As far as looks are concerned, the pictures speak for themselves. There is a sounded so good or performed so well soft hood to keep the elements out, but it restricts your vision and spoils the car's looks and the driving sensation. The Ginetta is raw fun, but if it's a kick in the backside sports car you want, you get a lot for your money. A G33 certainly won't appeal to everybody, nor perhaps would you wish to use it every day, but when the mood takes you...

Rover Power. The venerable V8 has rarely sounded so good or performed so well.