The times are changing. In 2018, first two places at the Goodwood Festival of Speed Hill Climb belonged to electric vehicles. The all-time record on the track, set all way back in 1999 by Nick Heidfeld in the McLaren-Mercedes MP4-13 F1 car, remains untouched, but the runs of the race-only Volkswagen I.D. R and the road legal Nio EP9 demonstrate evolution.

Although the first two places were taken by the latest tech, the third on the Goodwood hill is actually a well known hill-climb monster - the BMW E36 M3 V8 Judd. With a Formula V-8 engine inside, it was possibly the best sounding thing on that hill. This is one hell of a praise as all sorts of amazing cars made an appearance.

Live Streaming the event was a major win for the Goodwood as people from all around the world witnessed the rumble and thunder of the best internal combustion engines ever envisioned. This is exactly what the extremely precise and scarly silent electric cars lack - the sound and the emotion surrounding cars with an ICE. Despite looking really good and mean, electric cars simply lack the drama of the monstrous vehicles preceding them. Nevertheless, they are the fastest, and they are, probably, the future.

Witness five drivers who had the courage to make the five fastest runs at the 2018 FOS Hill Climb by torturing their cars to the absolute limits.

5. Penske-Chevrolet PC22, Jeremy Smith - 46.78 seconds

Last year, this very same car, with the same driver behind the wheel, managed to cover 1.16 miles of tarmac at the FOS Hillclimb in 46.22 seconds

Last year, this very same car, with the same driver behind the wheel, managed to cover 1.16 miles of tarmac at the FOS Hillclimb in 46.22 seconds. Although the conditions were much the same this year, the IndyCar Penske-Chevrolet PC22 couldn’t achieve the same result, but it came really close.

Some say that this car was the one Ayrton Senna used for some practice runs. It was also the backbone of the Team Penske for the CART Indy championship back in 1993 when this V-8 powered beast won 8 races. Not enough for the title, but in spite of that the Penske-Chevrolet PC22 was considered to be the best car in 1993, and its great results at the Goodwood Hill Climb prove its worth to this day.

The car is of a basic IndyCar design. Its carbon fiber monocoque chassis is really light and stiff. It rides on a double wishbone suspension and gets a healthy dose of downforce thanks to a multitude of advanced aero surfaces. The propulsion system is, however, the highlight of the Penske PC22. The Chevrolet 265 V-8 engine features a turbocharger and churns out stunning 775 horsepower. Mated with a six-speed sequential, the engine can propel the PC22 at levels of Formula 1 cars of the time. It is that accomplished.

Jeremy Smith drove it at this year’s GFOS, but just when he set out to do the fastest pass, the engine cut off. He was positioned back on the starting line, and the majestic drive up started with the epic sounds of the V-8 fury.

4. Jaguar XJR 12D, Justin Law - 46.66 seconds

Competing with the XJR 12D, the Jaguar managed to win the race in 1990, thus proving its credentials among racing royalty

Built in 1990, the Jaguar XJR 12D was the ultimate evolution of Tom Walkinshaw’s idea of bringing Jag back to the 24 hours of Le Mans race. Competing with the XJR 12D, the Jaguar managed to win the race in 1990, thus proving its credentials among racing royalty. The car itself is a 1,984 lbs monster with a massive 7.0-liter, naturally aspirated, V-12 under its composite body. Its 730 horsepower and more than 510 pound-feet of torque were enough to propel this Jag to numerous wins and to secure its place among the five fastest cars of the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Driven by Justin Law, who pushed the car to the very edge, the famed Jag XJR 12D overcame the Penske PC22 IndyCar royalty and secured the fourth place on this list. Law was so eager to make a good time at the Goodwood Estate that he almost lost control of the car in the second corner when the XJR 12D put down its left tires on the grass. Luckily, Law managed to save the day and continued driving really hard to the very end. The result speaks for itself.

3. BMW E36 V8 Judd, Joerg Weidinger - 46.43 seconds

The maximum power of the Judd-sourced engine is in the neighborhood of 550 horsepower (at 10,000 rpm, mind you) and this pushes the specially prepared BMW to some scary speeds

Considered by many to be the best hill climb car ever built, this BMW E36 V8 Judd started its life as a regular BMW 320i (not as an M3 as the commentators say). Built by Georg Plasa for his European Hill Climb stints, this particular E36 received a V-8 Judd engine from a Formula 1 car. It was, arguably, the best sounding car at the Goodwood Estate last week, and it was the fastest ICE-powered monster there.

The Judd BMW E36 weighs in at less than 2,000 lbs and has a V-8 that revs pass 10,000 rpm. The maximum power of the Judd-sourced engine is in the neighborhood of 550 horsepower (at 10,000 rpm, mind you) and this pushes the specially prepared BMW to some scary speeds. Late Georg Plasa shared once that the car can actually hit a top speed of astounding 211 mph. Remember, this is an E36.

Apart from being possibly the meanest car at the shootout, the BMW V-8 Judd was driven by a German racing driver Joerg Weidinger, who actually has a lot of experience. And it shows. He pushed the car really hard, slightly oversteering in almost every bend. One needs a heart of gold and almost robotic dedication to really utilize all this amazing car can give. The Judd finished the 1.16-mile hill-climb in 46.43 seconds - an amazing achievement given that its competitors were the likes of the Penske IndyCar or the incredible Toyota Celica Pikes Peak.

2. Nio EP9, Peter Dumbreck - 44.32 seconds

It is a really, really fast car, and it was driven by Peter Dumbreck at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Silence!

The Nio EP9 was the penultimate car to start the race at the Goodwood shootout, and it did it just after the Penske-Chevrolet PC22 finished its stint. The difference between these two could not be greater. The Penske, with a scary loud and whining V-8, made a theatrical hill climb.

The Nio EP9 started off in complete silence. The only way to appreciate the incredible, almost unbelievable speeds this car is capable of, is by seeing it smash through the bends and hearing the tires squeal. It is a really, really fast car, and it was driven by Peter Dumbreck at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. He almost spun off the track, but the Nio EP9 managed to keep its cool and got back onto the tarmac.

Ok, the Nio wasn’t the fastest here, but of all five cars listed here, this is the only one that is actually road-legal. You can buy it. Think about it - you can buy and drive a car that finished second at the Goodwood Festival of Speed Hill Climb. Can you drive an F1 car, a DTM car, or an LMP1 prototype? No, you can not! But you can drive this, and you can enjoy the air conditioning in it as well. Powered by four electric motors with a combined power output of one freaking Megawatt, the Nio EP9 is of a sui generis automotive nature. Its range is 265 miles, and its top speed is 194 mph. Numbers to be scared of if you are, say, the Mercedes EQ or the Rimac Concept_One.

Official data for this car is astounding:

Weight: 3,825 lbs
0-62 mph: 2.7 seconds
0-124 mph: 7.1 seconds
0-186 mph: 15.9 seconds
1/4-mile time: 10.1 seconds

The Nio EP9 is the fastest production electric car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Ever.

1. Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak, Romain Dumas - 43.05

Romain Dumas managed to drive the car up that hill in staggering 43.05 seconds, only 1.45 seconds slower than the actual F1 car which holds the record here.

Fresh from its glaring success at Pikes Peak where it took down a record for the fastest car, the Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak made quite a show at the Goodwood Estate as well. On one of the practice runs, Romain Dumas managed to drive the car up that hill in staggering 43.05 seconds, only 1.45 seconds slower than the actual F1 car which holds the record here.

Apart from his incredible practice run, Dumas was eager to push the car even further. At one of those stints, he actually lost control for a second and almost hit the bales of hay. Luckily, he recovered in time and kept the car in one piece for its final try at the shootout. There, the I.D. R Pikes Peak wasn’t as fast as in its most spirited run, but it was faster than everyone else nonetheless. Romain Dumas managed to set a new record for the fastest electric vehicle at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The car itself is a rather impressive piece of engineering. We had a whole piece written on it before the Pikes Peak attempt, and you should really check it out.

Conclusion

The 5 Fastest Runs of the Goodwood Festival of Speed Two Of Which Are Almost Completely Silent
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As always, the Goodwood Festival of Speed gave us a unique opportunity to see our favorite cars perform on a rather challenging hill climb course. However, the five fastest cars are kinda strange. See, not a single modern car with internal combustion has reached the top five. The list contains famed racers from yesteryear which are still very much capable of reaching almost unimaginable levels of speed. Yet, the fastest cars were actually electric. The Nio EP9 from China makes a case for every electric car on earth. It is road-legal and it can do this. On the other hand, the Pikes Peak prepared I.D. R slashed the EV record. I am quite sure that Dumas could have cut at least a second of his time had the car been prepared exclusively for the event. As Dumas implied after the run, he would like to come back and try to take the overall record. Volkswagen can do it. I am only disappointed that Porsche didn’t actually try to set a record with its unrestricted LMP1 prototype which decimated the previous Nurburgring record earlier. All in all, I can’t wait for next year’s GFOS.

Further reading

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