AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
There once was a time when the British cottage-car industry was flourishing and they made many unique and interesting cars like TVR, Marcos and Healey. However bad business planning, reliability woes and ever toughening safety and emission regulations have killed off many such niche-market car companies.
One of the few survivors is Ginetta. First started in 1958 by the Walklett brothers, the company is now owned by Lawrence Tomlinson, who in the last six years has been working on a full revision for the brand. First came the G40, which uses mechanical components taken from the Mazda MX-5, and now comes what you see here today, the new G60.
Those who follow the British motor industry might recognize this car as the Farbio GTS. Tomlinson bought the rights to produce that car under the Ginetta banner in 2010, and initially called it the F400.
However, the car has changed quite a bit over the last year, so hence it warrants a name change. It has new headlights and tail lights, revised cooling vents, and many new carbon-fiber bits on its body. Inside it sports a new dashboard, a new pedal box, and a new touch screen infotainment system. The biggest change however is found under the hatch. This is where you’ll find its new engine, a 3.7-liter, V6 taken from the Ford Mustang. In this application, this engine produces a respectable 310 hp and 288 lb/ft of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed gearbox, via an automatic torque biasing rear differential.
Launch this 1080 kg, mid-engined sports car properly, and you’ll sail past 60-mph from a standstill in 4.9 seconds, and onto a top speed of 165 mph.
Impressive performance then, and since it has no power steering, no ABS brakes, and no traction control, it will be a sportscar for purists who prefer doing the work themselves, rather than some computer.
It will also appeal to those who want something rare. Ginetta plans to produce only 50 examples of the G60 for its Global distribution network, so if you have one, chances of you running into another will be rare. At $105,000 it’s not cheap, but then exclusivity always has its price. Unfortunately, since the car is not crash test approved for North America, you won’t be able to buy one here. Such a shame.
The G60 will have its first public unveiling at the Silverstone circuit next week.
Eccentric British car firm Bristol has run its business unlike any other car company. They have no dealer network, so all the sales are handled by the factory owned store in Kensington, near London, U.K. They also don’t give out cars to journalists for reviews, stating their customers know what they are buying and that the cars speak for themselves.
Well it seems their old-fashioned ways of doing business (not to mention the out-dated technology found in these vehicles) has caught up to them. According to latest reports out of U.K., Bristol cars has gone into administration – a fancy legal term that essentially means they’ve run out of money. A last effort to save the company is being explored at the moment, but it seems the company will end up being reduced to running just the service and parts side of the business. For now, the administrators are confident that a new investor will come and save the company.
For the longest time, Bristol Cars was owned by the eccentric racing driver Tony Crook, who was famous for his arrogance and his lack of interest in modernization of the brand.
Bristol Cars was then sold to Toby Silverton in 2001, who had tried to modernize the brand with cars like the Fighter (pictured above), while retaining their aeronautical roots (they made fighter airplanes that were used in World War Two). Despite being a capable supercar, the Fighter could not shake-off the fact that its V10 engine came from a much cheaper car, the Viper SRT-10.
Will the company be now scooped up by one of the German automotive giants (like pretty much all of the British car industry) or will it be consigned to the history books? Time is running out on this 65-year old brand.