Half way through - report
I'm rather liking the GT...
it's the 1.9 Diesel (though not the trick Q2 version) in "Nero Carbonio", and is exceptionally pretty.
The engine is really good, red line (or in this car white line ..."don't do it") is at 4.5k which took a little adjustment as most cars I've owned start to be fun around 3.5-4 and then get a bit daft after 4.5 (Impreza, Lotus ) so you need to be a bit more nimble on the gear stick. Which is fine as the 6 speed box allied to this powerplant is tight, positive and gives a great flexibility for nimble acceleration when "making good progress" on a B road or effortless wafting along a motorway.
The handling isn't too bad despite the size increase over the GTV. It was never going to be as rock solidly stable as the low c.o.g AWD Impreza, but body roll is minimal and the front generally goes where you expect it. (Note.. due the the large amount of torques and the speed of delivery, I have found the front to be slightly less predictable if power is applied when there is any steering input, such as coming off a roundabout. It also tends to slip impressively if it encounters a manhole cover or other roadbased iron work, of course this is assuming the man hole covers in your area haven't been spirited away by enterprising thieves) . The ride is good, firm enough to enjoy a rolling B road, but still a comfortable relaxing place to be on a motorway.
The interior is rather nice, the red/white clocks and red LED displays are subtle, everything seems well positioned and easy to reach. The Bose ICE is excellent and the leather seats are very supportive and comfortable with a good range of adjustment.
It has useable back seats and the boot is ...well... HUGE..*
It's a really, really nice car, feels like I think a "proper" GT should, a bit of fun on twisty roads and eats up the miles on the long haul. I'd love to take one of these on a touring holiday to Scotland or the top of Italy, I think it would be completely at home..
Will I buy the Cloverleaf.... dunno... it all depends on the numbers...
Will I buy a GT within the next 4-8 months.... highly, HIGHLY likely
* in comparison to the GTV and Elise we currently run