Goodwood 2023 feels long awaited; with many cars over the past year locked behind closed doors for display at this 4 day event.
This year’s milestone has been filled by Porsche who celebrates 75 years since their first sports car. The central landmark also comprises of cars such as the original Porsche 356 and Porsche 911 997 Sport Classic.
Porsche didn’t exclusively feature cars at the central landmark though, Porsche also exhibited the Vision 357. Aimed to pay homage to the original 356, the Vision 357 is built on the same technology platform as the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS. This means that it features the same 4.0-litre flat-six engine with 493hp.
The main attraction at the Porsche Experience Centre was the Mission X. This car is of great importance of the brand, as it represents the pinnacle of Porsche engineering; being a successor to the legendary Porsche 918 and Carrera GT. More newly released Porsches are found in the supercar paddock. These cars include the Porsche 911 Dakar and latest Cayenne, as well as the latest 718 Spyder RS but due to the logistics of it, the cars weren’t all there at one time.
Caterham has been quite reluctant to change their current line-up of cars towards something that has a more up to date underpinnings. Besides from displaying the Caterham 620R, which didn’t get a second glance; their new Project V concept was on show. Like most concept it’s an EV, with a range aimed at 250 miles. The purists at Goodwood may not have been over the moon about this change in direction, but it’s the only way for Caterham to succeed in tomorrow’s world.
The Ballroom paddock include some of the racing car heroes from the likes of F1, Indycar and BTCC. It was considerably busier in this part of the festival, with people coming to view mainly former motorsport icons. Nevertheless, you could always get a good view of the cars, because of the sheer number of them in the paddock. A highlight of staying around this area, is that every once in a while, one of the cars has to be taken out the paddocks - an ideal opportunity to see the car moving up close with the engine on.
To the north of the ballroom paddocks is the Performance Parking West. Although you can’t get insight from those working for the manufacturer; you can see the exciting cars of Goodwood visitors without the hoards of people crowding round. Some of the cars included countless Ferraris and McLarens (one being an F1), a Mercedes CLK Black Series, a Lamborghini Countach, an Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato, a rare Mercedes C55 AMG and a Morgan Aero 8. Youtuber, Mark McCann’s Lamborghini Aventador drew particular attention for being by far the dirtiest car at Goodwood 2023.
While Goodwood does pride itself in cars, that’s not to say there isn’t a fair share of motorbikes involved in the event too. As long as you can put up with tremendous noise from the speakers at the action sports arena, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the two-wheeled action from scooters to BMX bikes to fully-fledged dirt bikes. Most of the action is highly competitive, making the whole spectacle an edgy event to watch. The dirt bikers are a particular highlight, overcoming jumps and obstacles you wouldn’t have thought possible.
BMW also showcased its new 5 Series at the festival of speed. This is the first 5 series to be offered as a pure EV, the particular model showcased being the i5 M60 with 601hp. The controversial BMW XM Label Red was also on show boasting 738hp and enormous presence on the BMW stand. The eagerly awaited M3 touring was additionally displayed with M performance parts. This gained a lot of attention and positivity from those who viewed it.
BMW owned Mini had the new Aceman to present. However, the exterior and interior looked very much concept form, with garish dashes of colour everywhere.
Kia’s EV9 was a popular car for the crowds to endorse despite the interior being drastically toned down from the original concept. The EV9 also benefits from an imposing boxy shape, reminiscent of much larger cars such as the Cadillac Escalade.
In 2018, Nio brought the bonkers EP9 hypercar to Goodwood Festival of Speed, putting the brand on the map. Since then, the brand has toned down the lineup somewhat, but has still generated positive press about initiatives such as the swap out battery pack. The Nio ET5 they are showcasing shows us what a Tesla Model 3 rival looks like with a similarly simplistic interior design.
Another brand from China was HiPhi. Although not being a widely known brand, it has already amassed a reasonable lineup of vehicles. I sat inside the new HiPhi Y and confidently felt this is the way the automotive industry is heading. The screens that dominated the dashboard created a sense of theatre, and although not being the most user-friendly, it was refreshingly contemporary.
Porsche’s milestone is not the only achievement the festival is home to. It’s been 100 years since the first 24 hours of Le Mans race. This is hinted at throughout the festival; whether that’s the Café Le Mans or the abundance of drivers and cars born from the legendary race itself. The Goodwood festival of speed has also been around for 3 decades; and to say that those 3 decades have been hugely fun and exciting would be an understatement. Although many visitors this year were held back in long lines of traffic, this 2023 has proven to deliver. There have been plenty of new cars the public have set eyes on as well as come backs like the McMurtry that broke the Goodwood hill climb record last year; only this time, you can buy it.
Like every recent year, the Festival of Speed has been safely regarded as the best car festival in the UK.