Just wanted to report that the weedy, couldn't-pull-the-skin-off-a-rice-pudding 2.2 was an absolute corker at the Goodwood circuit on friday - in 2 x 12 minute sessions it flew past 8 cars including two GT Blackline diesels, and a 159 TI diesel.
The only cars to overtake the 2.2 were Brads' monster modified 260bhp 2.0 Fiat Turbo-engined GTV, and a very nice V6 3.0 75, which couldn't actually catch up over 5 laps, but squeezed past after we were stuck in a queue behind a Giulietta!
Interestingly, the Giuliettas didn't do as well as I had expected - overtook all 4 or 5 of them in our group.
Anyway, to summarise, the figures and graphs alone just don't tell you how fast a car is - and it turns out the 2.2 is pretty quick. I think the diesels feel faster because you get that big sudden whack of torque for short bursts - but it seems short bursts of torque aren't enough to move the extr weight in the real world.
This is what I was trying to explain above about the 2.2 having a wide, useable torque band - it may not feel as fast because the torque is evenly spread - but the result is that it's actually quick enough to mince some diesels on a race track
Also, the ability to carry speed around curves makes a massive difference - the 2.2 is perfectly balanced in this respect, and doesn't understeer. To be honest, if I was a bit braver/more experienced, it would have gone round the corners faster.
Brad, on the other hand, has no lack of this "bravery"
PS Goodwood circuit is an absolute corker, really enjoyed it! It's a fast track, I encourage you all to try it sometime. Apart from the chicane, a well balanced car won't drop below 80mph the whole way round