Like most other large-scale public events, the 2020 festival took on a very different format as it was forced online, but this year the show formed part of the Government’s Events Research Programme with selected pilot projects being allowed to go ahead.
These were under strict guidelines though and all attendees had to prove either evidence of being double-jabbed or having passed a lateral flow test before being allowed through the gates. And then, the lockdown rules that have become part of our daily ritual, such as mask-wearing and keeping a safe distance indoors, were enforced.
But once inside Goodwood it was like we had never been away with the buzz of the crowds, the speed on the track, fireworks and every manner of motor car and bike on show.
Cars from bygone years, current models and futuristic concepts raced up the famous hill climb and the paddocks and static displays offered a welcome relief from the roar of the track.
Every year there is a ‘Featured Marque’ at Goodwood and this year it was the turn of Lotus making it the ideal opportunity for the carmaker to unveil the hotly-anticipated Emira.
In front of tens of thousands of passionate motoring fans, the all-new Lotus sports car took part in the Hill Climb, visited the Michelin Supercar Paddock live stage and featured in the spectacular Lotus Moment parade in front of Goodwood House – complete with Lotus-themed yellow and green fireworks that filled the bright skies above.
Vast numbers of visitors came to the Lotus stand to see the Emira up close. In fact, such was its popularity, that crowd control measures had to be implemented within minutes of the Goodwood gates opening at 7am on the first day, and a queueing system to access the stand was in force throughout that day. Keep your eyes peeled for a Regit review of the Emira on site soon...
The Emira was joined on the stand by an Evija all-electric hypercar, an Elise Sport 240 Final Edition and the track bike developed in part by Lotus Engineering for British Cycling.
This year’s Festival celebrates the peerless sporting and technical achievements of Lotus, and is the theme of the Festival’s ‘Central Feature’ – the dramatic art installation which is always created directly in front of Goodwood House.
Called the Lotus ‘Aeroad’ and viewed digitally via a smartphone app, the sculpture uses the latest augmented reality technology to allow users to watch four iconic Lotus cars speed through the air on a virtual racetrack. The app features an 'at home' mode for fans unable to attend in person, giving them the opportunity to launch a virtual version of the sculpture, plus the racetrack and cars. Once launched, users can take a photo or record a short video of their journey round the augmented track and save it to their device to share.
A new feature at this year’s event that proved a real attraction was the ‘Electric Avenue – The Road to 2030’ presented by Sky Zero section. This is where a number of manufacturers displayed their latest fully electric models and it proved an immensely popular attraction which is a relief as EVs will be the future – like it or not.
Kia sets pulses the racing with the first UK public outing of the EV6 electric car and track focused one-off special ‘Stinger GT420’. And, as usual, BMW’s iX drew in the crowds as did the Volvo C40 Recharge, Citroen e-C4, Mokka-e, Mini electric and gorgeous Porsche Taycan – to name just a few.
And there is a new kid on the block in motoring terms. It is called Genesis and they certainly made their presence known with the unveiling of the G70 Shooting Brake by the Goodwood estate owner, the Duke of Richmond. This beautifully styled car is the ultimate proof that estate models can be drop dead gorgeous in their styling.
And in the secluded Orangery behind Goodwood House, the Korean company took central stage with the GV70, G70 Shooting Brake and GV80 perfectly displayed behind the pool complete with GENESIS branding in its depths. This is a premium brand with very premium products and ideas that are likely to be in high demand here in the UK.
The 1.16-mile hill climb is always a true crowd pleaser with people eager to see over the hay bales and there were cars galore blasting their way up the track. Maserati fans were given the chance to watch the all-new MC20 in action for the first time.
This is the premium Trident brand’s first mid-engine two-seater super sports car boasting a top speed of more than 202mph, and is the first Maserati with a carbon fibre monocoque, meaning the whole car weighs in at a feather-light 1,500kg.
It is paired with a powerful F1-derived engine and this winning combination ensures an exceptional power to weight ratio, for a jaw-dropping acceleration and top speed, achieving 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds. The Maserati Nettuno engine was on display alongside the MC20 in the Supercar Paddock.
The Ghibli Trofeo, in Nero Ribelle, Maserati’s performance saloon, made an appearance on the iconic hill climb as part of First Glance, showcasing its 580hp V8 engine that can reach 62mph from a standstill in just 4.3 seconds.
BMW 2 Series
The BMW 2 Series Coupe also appeared in the First Glance category, more on that here, and was accompanied by the BMW M5 CS - the most powerful production car in the history of the German marque. Visitors to the Festival of Speed will also be able to see two exciting UK premieres for BMW - the BMW i4 and fully electric BMW iX.
And Goodwood simply wouldn’t be Goodwood without the famous F1 Pit Lane where racing fans get the chance to meet their idols. Lando Norris, Daniel Ricciardo, Jenson Button and three-time champion Sir Jackie Stewart were just a handful of the stars lined up for this year’s event.
Since the inaugural event was held in 1993, the Festival of Speed has become the ‘must-see’ show for motoring enthusiasts globally. And that comes as little surprise as there were more than 600 cars and motorcycles spanning the decades to view at the four-day long event.