The Goodwood Festival of Speed may feature historic racing cars with the heroes of motorsports driving them up the hill, but with around 200,000 people attending the four-day celebration of speed, the world’s automakers eagerly use the event to unveil both production and concept vehicles.
And it’s not just the automakers who participate. This year, the Duke of Richmond opened the Festival of Speed by helping to launch Airspeeder, which its founders claim will be “the thrilling airborne motorsport for a new generation of race fans.”
Airspeeder showcased a pair of its Mk II prototype Speeders, quadcopters that will compete in a 5-team, 10-pilot series planned for 2020, when racers will compete at speeds of more than 60 mph at an average of more than a dozen feet above the ground, according to Australian-based Alauda Racing.
Meanwhile, back on the ground, several somewhat more conventional vehicles were unveiled:
As featured marque, Aston Martin unveiled the six liveries available for the 60 “Vantage Heritage Racing Editions” it will offer to customers. The cars will feature a new aero kit that adds nearly 430 pounds of downforce at 190 mph. The liveries are based on historic Aston Martin racing cars, including the Razor Blade that set two class records at the Brooklands circuit in 1923.
The 4-passenger, 620 horsepower, 203-mph McLaren GT moved from the show stand to make its dynamic debut, joining the 720S Spider, 600LT Spider, P1, Senna and Senna GTR to make its run up Goodwood Hill.
Lexus showed a LC convertible prototype hints strongly at the production version coming “in the near future,” the automaker said.
The Audi R8 LMS GT2 is Audi’s new customer racing car and its V10 engine packs the punch of 640 horsepower, the company said. The car is designed for the GT2 racing class set to launch during the 2020 season. “It will fill a gap between the existing GT3 and GT4 categories and specifically feature cars with high longitudinal dynamics,” Audi Sport said. “Consequently, this type of race car addresses gentleman drivers who have been the backbone of GT racing for decades.” The cars will be priced at $380,000.
Making their British debut were the Volkswagen T-Roc R, the automaker’s high-performance, turbocharged SUV, and the ID.3, a prototype hatchback electric vehicle with more than 370 miles of range.
Radical Sportscars unveiled the Rapture, its new flagship road-legal vehicle, which is powered by a 2261cc Ford EcoBoost engine, but with a new turbocharger and induction system providing 350 horsepower, controlled by a 6-speed paddle-shifted transmission.
Lotus announced its Type 130 hypercar will be named Evija, and that the car will be unveiled later in July. The first new car launched since the automaker was purchased by Geely, “ev-eye-a” means “the first in existence” or “the living one,” the company said of what will be the “first all-electric hypercar from a British car maker.”
As it ends production of its current XJ luxury sedan, Jaguar announced that it will offer a new electric-powered XJ, with production beginning during 2020. Jaguar added that it will offer a widening range of electric vehicles as it safeguards thousands of its employees’ jobs.
Only 10 examples of the Lister LFT-C will be produced, and the first of them was showcased at Goodwood. The cars are based on the Jaguar F-type R with a 666 horsepower V8 and a top speed of 205 mph, Lister said
Meanwhile, the Land Rover portion of the Jaguar Land Rover company showcased the new Land Rover Defender prototype, just back from field testing in Kenya with the wildlife conservation charity Tusk.
Michelin hosted what it called “the world’s most-powerful garage,” the Michelin Supercar Paddock with a 900 horsepower Prato Orage, 690 horsepower Porsche 935, 400 kW electric-powered Charge Mustang, 790 horsepower W Motors Fenyr Supersport, 500 horsepower Porsche 911 Reimagined by Singer, 208-mph Apollo Intensa Emozione, electric-powered Lotus Evora GT4, 1,360 horsepower Koenigsegg Agera RSN, 600 horsepower Ginetta Akula, and 1,800 horsepower Dendrblum D-1.
Jeep made its first appearance at the Festival of Speed with a Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and the British premier of the Renegade PHEV, the brand’s first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.
Rolls-Royce showed a new red Starlight headliner featuring 1,340 fiber-optic lights.
Also unveiled was the Extreme E electric SUV Odyssey 21, which rides on Continental’s new Extreme E tires designed for off-road terrain and available in both summer and winter versions.