For the first time ever, this year sees some of the competition and display cars taking to the hill in-between the Motorshow sessions. Just two groups were in action, the Supercar and first glance class plus the cars that will take part in the timed shoot out session on Sunday. This gives the Thursday visitors a chance to see some of the most exciting cars in action on the hill and the drivers taking part get some extra practice.
One driver making her debut on the hill this year is Katie Milner, the 2016 JSCC champion and current Ginetta GT5 Challenge driver. She’s driving something that could hardly be more different to her regular racing car, the new Electric London Taxi prototype, built by the London Taxi company. We’ll have her full story in a later article.
There were lots more debuts and launches today including several super cars. Mclaren have their 570S Spider in action on the hill for the first time ever. Mclaren have a big presence at the show with cars in both the Supercar classes and several competition cars including, of course from formula 1. On top of this, there is a large stand celebrating all things Mclaren.
Aston Martin have their updated Vulcan, the AMR Pro. They are only making 24 Vulcans in total so existing customers may have their cars updated to this spec. It has updated aero and gearing to make it’s already rapid acceleration even quicker. On top of this there is a large increase of torque from 3150nm to 4000nm. Aston are busting at the seams with new cars! Also at the festival are The new V8 Powered DB11 is being driven by CEO Dr. Andy Palmer over the course of the weekend. The new Vanquish Zagato Coupe will also make its UK debut, while the Vantage AMR Pro is a world dynamic debut. The new Vanquish S Volante and Le Mans winning Vantage GTE will also be present.
Staying in the car manufacturers beginning with A, Alfa Romeo have their new Stelvio on show for the first time in the UK. Another A is the new Alpine A110. Renault are hoping this new coupe will be a big success. It’s retro styling is influenced by the Alpines of the past and Renault hope it will become a rival to cars like the Porsche Cayman. Renault also have their Electric Zoe Concept car silently zooming up the hill
Audi have world debuts for the R8 Spyder V10 Plus and The Q8 Sport concept which is believed to heavily hint at the firm’s new SUV.
Another company showing off a concept is BMW with their 8 series concept. It’s one of the best looking cars BMW have made in years and many will be hping the concept soon becomes a reality.
The new M4 CS is also on show as it roars up the hill.
Bentley have their most powerful car ever, the 700Bhp Continental Supersports.
Their old Sister company Rolls Royce is also showing off a performance car, the Dawn Black Badge. It’s their fastest car in the range.
Another famous British name (Also owned by BMW) is Mini and they’re showing off their Countryman PHEV, the first plug in Hybrid made by the Mini division, it has a 1.3 turbo petrol engine driving the front wheels and an electric motor driving the back wheels. Both power units can be used together to provide four wheel drive or alone meaning the Mini can be also front or rear wheel drive!
Ford are using the Festival to show off their new Fiesta for the first time in the Uk although the car isn’t in action at all, several versions are on display on their large stand in the centre of the festival.
Vauxhall have their VXR8 GTS-R on show and running up the hill. It will be the most powerful production Vauxhall ever and possibly the last ever V8 the company produces. It’s made by Holden, who will cease production in Australia after the end of this car. It also may be the last car sold by Vauxhall that’s been produced in the GM era of the company with the Vauxhall and Opel divisons now sold to PSA. Top female race and Tv presenter, Rebecca Jackson will drive it on Saturday morning. Vauxhall also have their new SUV the Crossland X on show as well as the new Insignia. Their stand is also where you’ll find the Vauxhall sponsored family area, providing games and useful facilities for those with young children.
Also making debuts are the new Honda Civic Type R, the incredible new Land Rover Velar SUV which looks like a concept car and the Jaguar XE SV project 8 car which will shortly start limited production.
All the other usual Festival of Speed features are present with the Cartier Style Et Luxe Concours, the Bonhams Auction and the FOS Air exhibition.
Of course there is also the usual giant centrepiece Sculpture, this year dedicated to Bernie Ecclestone. It’s celebrating the “Five eras of Ecclestone” which have been defined as Driver, Manager, Team owner Impressario and Legend. There is a car on the sculpture to respresent each era. Designer Gerry Judah spoke about it before the festival;
“Coming up with a sculpture for Goodwood is always a challenge”, said Judah. “They have to bedifferent, dynamic and dangerous, as motorsport itself. This year is no exception given we are celebrating an individual, a phenomenon, and what better way than producing a firecracker.”
The Festival’s main days commence from tomorrow (Friday) and it runs until Sunday with live coverage on Sky TV. Tickets are still available for Friday with the other days a sell out. We’ll bring you more coverage of different aspects of this massive Motorsport festival. By Marc Waller