Goodwood Festival of Speed - Preview
The next major auto show may still be three months away, but this June is packed with three of the most important motorsport events the world over. Having already watched Porsche win its 17th 24 Hours of Le Mans at Circuit de la Sarthe earlier this month, time has come to focus on the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed, where modern and historic vehicles alike will climb iconic Goodwood hill.
As usual, the event will host multiple vehicle debuts. Although most of them are only U.K. introductions, some will meet their public for the very first time, while others will be seen in action trying to break Nick Heidfeld’s long-standing record on the 1.16-mile Hillclimb course. Notable debuts include the Aston Martin DB9 GT, the 2016 Lotus 3-Eleven, and the Morgan EV3, but highlights will most definitely include the large number of classic race cars set to rev their engines throughout the weekend.
If you’ve already purchased tickets for this year’s Goodwood, then you’re in for a fantastic weekend. If not, you’ll either have to settle for the tickets that are still available for Thursday and Friday or follow the event live here. Either way, make sure you have a look at our preview below for info on what’s going on in the grounds of Goodwood House at the end of this week.
Continue reading for more details on the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Where Is It And When Is It?
The 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed is held at the Goodwood House between June 25th and 28th. The Goodwood Estate is located just outside Chichester, only 60 miles from London and 30 miles from Brighton and Southampton. For directions on how to get there, use this link here. For the festival’s 3D map, click here.
The event opens at 7:00 and ends at 19:00 each day. Car parks, which are free of charge, open at 6:30. The action on the hillclimb commences at 08:45 each day of the event. The festival has a family camping area, medical facilities, as well as baking facilities.
The event begings Thursday with the Moving Motor Show, which allows manufacturers to display their latest models. Friday, the Festival of Speed kicks off with a free practice day. The annual Bonhams Summer Sale takes place in the gardens behind the Goodwood House.
On Saturday, visitors get the chance to watch drivers battling to set the fastest time of the day on the Hillclimb track, while WRC teams take to he track through Goodwood’s forest course.
Formula One cars are being brought to the track Sunday. The day also hosts the Michelin Supercar Run, one of the most popular features of the Festival of Speed. The fastest cars will line up for the "Sunday Shoot-Out" before the day ends with the Prize Giving ceremony.
Launched in the first quarter of 2015, the Aston Martin Vantage G12 Special Edition will be driven for the first time in public at Goodwood. Originally called the Vantage GT3, Aston Martin changed the name to GT12 after Porsche claimed its right to the GT3 moniker. Essentially a road-legal version of the 2012 Aston Martin Vantage GT3race car, the GT12 Special Edition has a 6.0-liter V-12 rated at 592 horsepower, a 27-horsepower improvement over the standard model. The track-ready car is also about 220 pounds lighter than the base model, tipping the scales at 3,384 pounds. The added power and the lowered weight enable the GT12 to hit 60 mph in about 3.5 seconds. Only 100 examples will be built, making its Goodwood rolling debut a rare appearance.
Read more about the GT12 Special Edition here.
Aston Martin DB9 GT
It’s no secret that the DB9 is nearing retirement, but Aston Martin isn’t letting the grand tourer pass into the history books without a proper special-edition model. Dubbed DB9 GT, the DB9 to end all DB9s will break cover at the Goodwood Festival of Speed as the most powerful version of the model yet. Motivated by the familiar 6.0-liter V-12, the DB9 GT benefits from an extra 30 horses, taking the total output up to 540 horsepower. The power routes to the wheels through a six-speed Touchtronic II transmission, enabling the coupe to hit 60 mph in 4.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 183 mph.
The improved drivetrain is joined by an upgraded appearance, including a black front splitter and rear diffuser, new 20-inch wheels, an engraved aluminum fuel cap and available carbon-fiber trim. If you’re a DB9 maniac, you simply cannot miss this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed to say farewell to Aston’s iconic grand tourer.
Find out more about the DB9 GT here.
Note: Rendering shown above.
As expected, Lotus won’t miss the chance to show off on its home turf, and will attend Goodwood with a new hardcore sports car, named the 3-Eleven. Reportedly scheduled to reach its first customers sometime in 2016, as a spiritual successor to the 2007 Lotus 2-Eleven, the 3-Eleven will most definitely be one of the stars of the show, more so given that Lotus promises to showcase a no-nonsense, track-ready barchetta with a spectacular power-to-weight ratio. Add in the fact that the Brits claim it will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in less than three seconds and lap the Nurburgring track in just over seven minutes, and the 3-Eleven should be a blast to watch. Hopefully, the sports car will run a few fast laps around the Goodwood circuit.
Read more about the 3-Eleven in our speculative review here.
The recently unveiled Renault Alpine Celebration Concept has already made its public debut ahead of the 2014 Hours of Le Mans, but the French sports car will be showcased once again at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Launched six decades after the brand was established and 20 years since it had been declared defunct, the Alpine Celebration Concept pays tribute to the classic 1961-1973 Renault Alpine A110 and will spawn a production model sometime in 2016.
Read more about it in our full review here.
Not surprisingly, Ferrari has prepared a bespoke sports car for this year’s event. This time around, the brand’s Tailor Made division created a one-off 2015 Ferrari California T convertible "...inspired by the passion and colors of polo and horse racing." Specifically, it features a three-layer, Bianco Italia paint job with a double, asymmetric stripe in Blu Hellen, a Blue Sterling interior, and bespoke 20-inch wheels finished in Blu Hellen and Argento Nurburgring. Additionally, it showcases a new “Mycro Prestige” fabric material that has been made exclusively for Ferrari. This fabric is a highly resistant material that offers an exceptional level of grip. It’s also significantly thinner than traditional leather, flameproof, and fire resistant. The car will be displayed inside the exclusive Ferrari VIP section at Goodwood.
Read more about this unique vehicle here.
Jaguar is bringing its very own one-off vehicle to Goodwood, but unlike Ferrari, which created a bespoke car for a customers, the Brits will showcase the XJR Rapid Response Vehicle. Powered by a 550-horsepower V-8 and wrapped in a blue-and-orange livery, the sedan joins the F-Type RRV on the 2014 Bloodhound SSC’s mission to break the 1,000 mph barrier. The same Andy Green, who will attempt to set a new benchmark, will drive the XJR RRV up the Goodwood hill.
Find out more about this special sedan here.
The next-generation Juke-R Nismo is still a mystery, but that will come to an end at Goodwood, where Nissan will feature a production-ready concept. The only teaser the Japanese gave us so far hints at a dramatic body kit highlighted by a massive front bumper and squinty headlamps. This should be good, especially since it could very well have more than 500 horsepower under the hood.
Read more about it in our speculative review here.
Unveiled in early 2015, the Lexus GS F will join the Goodwood parade for its very first public outing. Expect the sedan to put on a show with Toyota Gazoo racing driver Mike Conway behind the steering wheel.
More info on the Lexus GS F can be found here.
Showcased at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, the McLaren 570S Coupe comes to Goodwood for its first dynamic debut, which will take place in the Supercar Run. Currently the smallest and most affordable sports car from Woking, the 570S Coupe is expected to play a key role in McLaren’s new strategy to increase sales worldwide.
Find out more about this British sports car here.
McLaren P1 Prost by MSO
The 570S Coupe won’t be the only McLaren displayed and driven at Goodwood. Joining the new compact sports car is a one-off P1 that pays homage to four-time Formula One champion Alain Prost. The supercar’s white-and-blue livery takes inspiration from Prost’s racing helmet. The Frenchman has won three F1 titles driving McLaren cars, which is probably why the Brits have dedicated one of the only 375 P1s to him.
Morgan’s legendary 3 Wheeler is about to embrace electricity at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where the company plans to unveil a version that ditches the V-twin engine and replaces it with an electric motor and battery pack in the rear. Dubbed EV3, Morgan’s first ever electric vehicle is good for 100 horsepower and travels for about 150 miles. Of course, the Goodwood show car is just a concept for now, but Morgan says a production version is planned for the end of 2016.
More details about this green 3 Wheeler can be found here.
Among the aforementioned global or dynamic debuts, Goodwood will also see a range of recently unveiled vehicles run up the hill. Ford will bring both the 2017 Ford GT supercar and the 2016 Ford Focus RS, while Bentley will showcase its entire fleet of updated Continentals. Volkswagen will bring no fewer than four vehicles to Britain, including the 2015 VW Sport Coupe GTE, 2015 VW XL Sport, 2014 VW Golf R400, and the 2015 VW Polo R WRC. Mazda will join the event with the new 2016 Mazda MX-5, while Seat will bring the facelifted Ibiza. Likewise, Peugeot will showcase its latest hot-hatch, the 2015 Peugeot 308 GTi. Visitors will also be able to watch the track-only [Mclaren/2016-mclaren-p1-gtr-ar163941.html] in motion for the first time.
Of course, these new cars will be only a fraction of the vehicles set to rev their engines at Goodwood. As usual, the show will be packed with classic race cars ranging from the 1920s to the 1990s. Expect to see everything from vintage Le Mans racers to Can-Am and even NASCAR cars. No fewer than five current F1 teams, including world champions Mercedes-AMG, will bring their single-seaters to Goodwood.
Besides the regular run up the hill and the many vehicle displays inside Goodwood, the festival will host a large number of events. Mercedes-Benz will display seven 300 SLRs to mark the 60th anniversary of Sir Stirling Moss’ victory at the Mille Miglia in 1955, while Alpine will celebrate the decades since it started making automobiles.
A new race category, the "Edwardian Leviathans", will be introduced this year, which will include a 28-liter Fiat S76 getting its first public run in 101 years.
This year’s event will also include a category for drifting, which will see Ken Block race in his modified, 850-horsepower "Hoonicorn" Mustang.
As usual, Goodwood will honor several racing drivers, including Derek Bell and Gilles Villeneuve. Richard Petty will return to England to join Goodwood’s largest ever display of NASCAR racers. Motorcycle enthusiasts will watch Casey Stoner, Kenny Roberts, and Freddie Spencer take to the hill.
The traditional concours d’elegance will celebrate the 80th anniversary of Figoni et Falaschi, as well as the 60th anniversary of the Citroen DS.
Mazda will act as the event’s featured manufacturer by showcasing its current vehicle lineup and a bunch of road and track models from the past, including the Le Mans-winning 1991 Le Mans 787B. The theme of the 2015 Festival of Speed is “Flat-out and Fearless: Racing on the Edge," which festival founder Lord Charles March says “aligns perfectly with Mazda’s continual push to reject engineering conventions and strive for something unique." Granted, it will be interesting to see Mazda’s take on the already legendary statue in front of the Goodwood house.
Stay tuned to TopSpeed for coverage from this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.