The 2020 Ginetta Akula Is Part Race Car, Part Grand Tourer

Designed for the road using Ginetta's racing know-how, it packs a naturally-aspirated V-8 making more than 600 horsepower.

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Máté Petrány

Perhaps not many people were expecting a full-blown carbon fiber supercar from a small brand like Ginetta. But as Chairman Lawrence Tomlinson explained to me at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, having spent the last 15 years upgrading their factory and racing at the highest levels (including LMP1), this road car project was a natural progression of Ginetta's improvements and investments. And with its designed-in-house N/A V-8 and carbon fiber tub, the 2020 Ginetta Akula speaks for itself.

Named after a shark, the Akula is a front-mid-engined lightweight supercar with racing aerodynamics and pushrod suspension front and rear. The car's pocket ace is that its V-8 is pushed so far rearward, it literally sits between the driver and the passenger. To achieve this, Ginetta had to come up with its own single-cam V8, with a dry sump system and a specially-designed oil pump to allow such compact packaging. The carbon tub is also Ginetta's own design, complete with a lot of heat-shielding.

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Máté Petrány

The extremely low location of the engine allowed for through-the-body aero tunnels and long wishbones up front, which means the Akula can claim "class-leading" downforce levels. Ginetta's naturally-aspirated V-8 shares internals with the tiny automaker's G55 GT3 race car, housed in a billet block with its bottom end split straight across the crank. Ginetta says it took three years to develop, with the aluminum block, crank, pistons, rods and throttle bodies all machined in house. The dry sump system is an evolution of Ginetta's first such design, created for racing seven years ago. The gearbox is also a Ginetta design, produced by Hewland.

Lawrence Tomlinson says that despite being advertised as a mere 600-horsepower affair, the Ginetta V8 shows 660 on the dyno. But with this being a road car capable of very fast times on race tracks, the Akula also has a cabin that's spacious enough for longer journeys and adequate luggage space at the rear, next to the integrated roll cage.

Right now, Ginetta employs around 80 people, producing 150 cars annually. The brand makes the most successful GT4 car, and created two LMP1 prototypes for Le Mans, as well as LMP3 cars and other track weapons like the G50 and the G58—the latter of which you'll get to drive on-track when you visit the factory to procure your Akula.

Limited to 20 cars for the debut year and priced at $450,000 in the UK, the Akula is a globally-homologated car—and yes, that includes the USA. Think of it: a 2535-lbs. dry weight, 660 horsepower supercar with all the downforce you may need and what Ginetta promises is day-to-day usability. The Ginetta Akula promises to be one hell of a road racer.

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Máté Petrány

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