6 Awe-inspiring Appearances at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed
The 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed proved to be a pure celebration of automobilia and, altogether, the best automotive related event in all of Britain. It seemed like the entire automotive world huddled there just to have some pure, raw fun. It was cool.
Yet, among thousands of new cars, young-timers and old-timers alike, some drives up that Goodwood Hillclimb simply have to be singled out. I have chosen six of them, but, honestly, I could have picked 50 and there would still be some more to add to the list.
Recreated Bullitt Chase with the Original 1968 Ford Mustang GT Fastback and the 1968 Dodge Charger R/T 440 Magnum
The cars recreated (sort of) the chase from the movie
This was a sight to behold. Ford actually brought the original hero car from the movie Bullitt - the very Ford Mustang driven by Steve McQueen. But it was not alone on the hill. No, no! In front of it was the original 1968 Dodge Charger R/T 440 Magnum. The very car from the movie Bullitt. The cars recreated (sort of) the chase from the movie. I can’t even stress enough how cool was seeing both of these on a live stream. What an epic sight.
This is the first time that the 1968 Ford Mustang GT Fastback from Bullitt actually left American shores. This stunt was done in accordance with the European marketing push for the new Mustang Bullitt. Ford sells it in Europe as well, where the latest Mustang has become a successful sports car in a way.
The original hero car from Bullitt will go on a worldwide tour to celebrate and promote the legacy of the most impressive car chase scene ever. It was presented by Sean Kiernan, son of the man who bought the car in 1974 for $6,000 following an ad in the Road&Track magazine. The car was basically hidden for the past 20 or 30 years, but now, Ford has managed to bring it under the spotlight yet again, and its first European appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed is only the beginning.
The Roborace Devbot Autonomous Racer
Obviously, driving up this hill completely autonomously is possibly the biggest achievement we could have hope for.
Someone said that this is the first proper look into Skynet. You know, the net-based consciousness from the Terminator movies. While that may or may not be the truth, the fact is that the Roborace Devbot - an autonomous electric racer - actually drove up the Goodwood Hillclimb without any problems and looked quite confident in the process. If you ask how a machine can be confident, take a look at the embedded video. The Racer was flawless. Sure, much more work is needed before the team behind the Roborace can claim they have a proper autonomous racer, but even this is rather spectacular. The car drove up the hill in front of 55,000 spectators on Friday.
While talking to Autosport journalists, Roborace Chief Operating Officer Jen Horsey said: "We had a successful run as recently as Monday, but really the final test of what we were doing was today when the environment was populated with fans, and the vehicle has a lot to look at. This environment is way more complex than a racetrack. The tracks that we’ve been on are very structured: track walls, Tarmac to the edges, so here it is a step beyond. It’s actually closer to a road environment than ultimately what this technology will be applied to."
Obviously, driving up this hill completely autonomously is possibly the biggest achievement we could have hope for. The racer has awareness on the track thanks to an intricate set of technologies including the LiDar sensor, 3D cameras, advanced GPS system, and more. Feeding info to the central processing unit, the computer can evaluate the track, potential “threats,” and steer, brake, or accelerate the car according to the conditions. The run at the Goodwood hill was capped at 75 mph.
Developed by Cranfield University and Siemens, the car features a system that steers the ‘Stang thanks to a preprogrammed GPS
After watching a nearly flawless ride of the autonomous Roborace Devbot storming up the hill, I figured out that any other autonomous attempt up to that hill will have a tough time being a match. Well, the only other autonomous car was the 1965 Ford Mustang. Developed by Cranfield University and Siemens, the car features a system that steers the ‘Stang thanks to a preprogrammed GPS. However, its endeavours resembled a drunk man driving up the hill. Certainly, Siemens PR gurus aren’t thrilled that their name is sitting proudly on the front and sides of the Mustang, but the thing is, I found this fun. We are lucky to have witnessed so many companies and enthusiasts trying to crack autonomous breakthroughs like these. Although the Mustang didn’t actually pass the hill climb with flying colors, its attempt was cool nevertheless.
I love the Mustang, I really do, but after watching this video, I had to read some comments and boy, people can be mean. In a fun way, too.
This one takes the cake for me:
“This just goes to show how even in the 60’s, the Mustang still had no other desire but to dive into crowds,” a youtube user commented after watching the autonomous Ford Mustang tackling the Goodwood Hillclimb.
The autonomous Mustang needed four or so minutes to reach the top of the hill. The car had four passengers inside with the driver correcting its path a few times. Taking into account that the Roborace did it so much better, one can only conclude that autonomous cars need a whole lot of tech to actually work. They cannot rely on one tech feature, but a multitude of them. Just like Roborace did with its Devbot.
The team that built it possibly aimed at 150 mph top speed which would decimate the Guinness World Record set by the Norwegians with the V-8 engined lawn mower
Yup, Honda did announce it would bring the lawnmower to the Goodwood, but seeing it rocking up that hill was kinda unexpected nevertheless. This is not a common machine. Created by the Team Dynamics, the Mean Mower V2 seems to be built to take back the record for the fastest lawnmower in the world. See, after Honda and Top Gear created a lawn mower fast enough to reach speeds of 116.575 mph back in 2014, some guys from Norway strapped a Corvette V-8 engine to a lawnmower making it go 134 mph. Taking the record back isn’t an easy task by any means.
This Mean Mower V2 has 190+ horsepower at 13,000 rpm. With an SP1 Fireblade engine giving that much power and only 440 lbs of weight, the lawn mower is actually capable of 3 sec acceleration to 60 mph and it can hit 90 mph in its first gear. The team that built it possibly aimed at 150 mph top speed which would decimate the Guinness World Record set by the Norwegians with the V-8 engined lawn mower (this sounds so sick, I am laughing while writing this).
Nevertheless, the Mean Mower V2 looked rather good on the Goodwood Hillclimb. It reminded me of a bee, really. Sorry for the digression. The thing seems to be rather jumpy and zippy. Controlling it through the bends must be rather tricky.
This is a one-off creation honoring American pilots who helped the UK RAF in WWII before the U.S. actually joined the war effort.
Apart from the original Mustang Bullitt, seeing this Eagle Mustang Squadron tackle the hill-climb was impressive. This is a one-off creation honoring American pilots who helped the UK RAF in WWII before the U.S. actually joined the war effort. The aviation livery is an obvious addition to the Mustang. It actually echos the colors found on British Spitfires of the WWII. This is slightly contradictory considering that the Mustang actually got its name from an American P51 Mustang.
Nevertheless, the car here is quite a powerful one. Featuring a Ford Performance supercharger and transmission, it puts out 700 horsepower. Plus, Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s RTR Vehicles designed the body kit and the wheels. Under the metal is an upgraded suspension and all the imaginable gear to make the ‘Stang a sufficiently mad machine. The car will hit the auction block later this month, and all the proceeds will go to the Experimental Aircraft Association’s youth aviation education programs. Ford made a habit of donating its cars to the Aircraft association every year. This year’s car is quite something.
Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Eagle Mustang Squadron.
With a time of 43.05 seconds, the Volkswagen I.D. R demonstrated German motorsport ingenuity and the possibilities of electric drive
Ladies and gentlemen, this was the fastest car at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed Hillclimb. It is electric, we are already familiar with it from the Pikes Peak stint a few weeks prior, and it is the fastest electric car to ever appear at the hill. With a time of 43.05 seconds, the Volkswagen I.D. R demonstrated German motorsport ingenuity and the possibilities of electric drive. The car itself is fully prepared for Pikes Peak. Volkswagen implied it could be even better prepared for the Goodwood Hillclimb. With that said, numbers say a lot about the beast:
670 horsepower, 480 pound-feet of torque, 0-62mph in 2.25 seconds, and a top speed of 149 mph. All with the driver - Romain Dumas - the Volkswagen I.D. R weighs at 2,425 lbs.
"It was a good race, it was not easy," said Dumas. "The limit was very close, and we just made this one as clean as possible, no risk.
"We have to come back next year to beat the overall record."
As this car wasn’t exactly prepped for Goodwood, I am sure that with a weight loss (it can lose some hefty batteries after all), Dumas could slash 1.5 seconds and actually beat the all-time Goodwood hill climb record which was set in 1999 by Nick Heidfeld driving the McLaren-Mercedes MP4/13 F1 car.
Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Pikes Peak I.D. R.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed gifted us with the most precious automotive gifts. We have seen self-driving race cars, extremely fast electric cars, and even a recreated famous scene from the movie Bullitt. As far as car manifestations go, the Goodwood Festival of speed should be on the calendar of every gearhead.
Read more Goodwood Festival of Speed.