Ginetta G4 versus Lucra LC470 : classic or muscle ?

In News by Thomas

A fast, light car that could be your daily driver but that you can also use in the track, it always sound like a good compromise doesn’t it? That was the spirit of Ginetta. The G4 was the emblematic car of this English sports car manufacturer. The spirit of this car, which reflects the one of Ginetta, is to be a cost effective weekday road car and a weekend racer. It was shown for the first time in 1961 at the Racing Car Show of London, and was voted “most beautiful car of the show”. The design look like a Lotus Eleven, the rounded bumps on top of the front light but also the rounded tailfins on the original G4 (Phase 1) is quite similar to the Lotus, which isn’t a big surprise, because Trevers Walklett , one of the brother at the origin of Ginetta, was quoted that the Lotus Eleven race car inspired the design of the G4. The series II, had a bigger rear bodywork, it was extand approximately of 8 inch to improve the luggage capacity, the small rear tailfins of the serie I disappeared in the second one .The Ginetta G4 is light car, its body is made of resin and glass fiber and weight around 500 kg! It’s so light that if you found one in the street, you just have to call some friend and you’ll be able to lift it and take it home! (I’m not saying you should do this). Originally commercialised with the 997cc Ford 105E engine, it was then available with any 4 cylinders Ford’s engine, the one of 1340 cm³ which delivered 91 horse power, gave the G4 a top speed of 193 km per hour. Its performances gave the Ginetta the necessary strength to beat the MG MGB and the Triumph Tr but also the Jaguar 3.8, which have similar top speed, and acceleration but weight 1440 kg, nearly a tone heavier! In August 1964 Chris Meek, one of the Ginetta’s driver, change the engine for an beat the lap time record Ford Cosworth of 1 650cc and beat the lap time record which has held by a Porsche 904. The Ginetta wasn’t only racing in England, it also proved its capacity around international circuit like the Nurburgring, Sebring, Silverstone, Spa and Singapore. Its racing prize and performance weren’t unseen by the public and have for result the increasing of sales of the cars, 500 G4 were sold in 1964. The more extreme version of it n the G4R, powered this time with the Lotus twin cam engine, who developed around 180 hp, was able to give trouble to the AC Cobra, Jaguar E-Type and even some Ferrari 250LM !

howiefowler    Kazushige Tanase1

Finally we could say that the Ginetta is a good looking car with some good performance for its time, let’s remember us that it was sold in the 60th. But another car manufacturer thought that a light car wasn’t enough to get some fun, their motto is: “you could build a car that featured both extreme light weight and large V8 power.” So I think you guess what happened to our little G4 … Let me introduce you: the Lucra LC470.

If you have seen the last Fast and Furious (the sixth) , in the famous scene of the tank car, when Tej Parker (Ludacris) is on the bridge giving orders , we can see a green and yellow car behind him , which stand still unfortunately, because this car is the Lucra LC470. The Lucra is based on the Ginetta G4 but Lucra fitted a V8 engine, but as one engine isn’t enough Lucra give the oppurtinity to their customer to choose between 3 V8: The Mercedes AMG 6.3 V8 (Welstec Supercharger optional) , the GM LS3 6.3L and the GM LS 7.0L , this engine usually equipped respectively the SLS AMG and the corvette , needless to say that the Lucra hasn’t got a lack of power . Their some numbers to give you an idea of what we are talking about, the LC470 doesn’t used the engine as stock , they’re doing some upgrade on it so the LS 7.0L developed now over 600HP and less than 900 kg (2000lbs) , so the 0 to 60 is done in about 2.7 sec only and the quarter miles in 10.1 seconds, and even 9.1 seconds with the higher performance engine !  As comparison the Bugatti Veyron SS make the 0 to 60 in about 2.5 sec and the quarter miles in 9.7 seconds but weight around 1 tone eavier! In an interview Luke Richards, the founder of Lucra, said that his father told him that a car can go fast in a corner or fast in a straight line, but not both, the L470 is the answer to that. As he said : “ so that basically what we did , we made a car that weighs the same as a lotus but have the power of a big V8 muscle car.” According to Luke, even if it is a rear wheel drive, have a tremendous power/weight ratio , the car is very easy to drive , “even a novice can handle one with 600 horse power”. The top speed is also announced around 220 mph (354 kmh) but they haven’t got the opportunity to reach this speed yet …  So if you’re sad that you couldn’t have seen it moving in the fast and furious movie , don’t worry , we posted a video of it below (the take off start at 20 seconds).  As a conclusion, I think it’s not wrong to say that the Lucra LC470 could be considered as the Cobra of the 21th century because they weigh approximately the same but the Lucra has more horsepower!  And obviously a power/weight ratio even more spectacular! So this car is really one of a kind.

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Many years separate the first Ginetta G4 from the Lucra LC470, and this make the Ginetta way more affordable than the (new) Lucra , a G4 can be found around  7500 € and the LC470 , which will be new , around 100.000€ for the bigger engine . So if we done pay attention to the price and you had to choose between, the classic English car and the American muscle car, which one would, you choose?

Text : Thomas Z. © Images : Lucra Cars & British Motor Race ©  We would like to thanks Mr. Kazushige Tanase (check out his work here) and Mr.Howie Fowler (check out his work here).