The warmer months have a tendency to serve up the year’s most exciting and memorable moments.
There’s Glastonbury for music fans, Cannes for film buffs, the Euros or World Cup for kickball fans, Paris Fashion Week for the fashionistas, and for us petrolheads, there’s Goodwood.
First held in 1993, the annual event attracts tens of thousands of visitors, all eager to witness the latest and finest automobiles tackle the 1.16-mile, nine-turn hillclimb.
It’s doubtful anyone will ever better the 41.6-second time recorded by Nick Heidfeld’s McLaren MP4/13 Formula 1 car in 1999, but what can those heading to this annual speedfest expect to see when the four-day show opens this Thursday (July 29th)?
Alfa Romeo Stelvio
The first SUV in Alfa’s 107-year history will finally make an appearance on UK soil, following its global reveal at the LA Auto Show way back in December.
It wasn’t long ago that Alfa’s model range was best described as skeletal, with just the Mito and Giulietta to speak of. However, its number of nameplates has doubled since, and Goodwood 2017 marks the second year running that Alfa has unveiled a new model at the iconic automotive event, after the 3 Series-rivalling Giulia’s reveal in 2016.
Available in three trim levels, the Stelvio will initially be available with a two-litre 276bhp turbocharged petrol or a 207bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine, both linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive.
Joining the SUV at Goodwood will be the range-topping Giulia Quadrifoglio, which attempts to put the M3 in its place by using a 2.9-litre 503hp V6 engine to hit 62mph in 3.9 seconds.
Audi R8 Spyder V10 Plus
The fastest ever production Audi has dropped its top and it’ll make its world debut at Goodwood.
Costing upwards of £147,470, the R8 Spyder V10 Plus is 25kg lighter than the R8 V10 Spyder, and exploits a 601bhp V10 engine to reach 62mph in just 3.3 seconds with a 203mph top speed. The powered hood can be opened or closed in just 20 seconds at speeds up to 31mph.
With a performance driving mode, bucket seats, ceramic brakes and carbon components inside and out, the convertible full-fat R8 “benefits from Audi’s many years of experience in motorsport and combines breathtaking dynamics with the emotion of an open-top sports car”, according to the brand.
McLaren 570S Spider
Another top-down supercar breaking cover at Goodwood is the new McLaren 570S Spider, ahead of the first examples reaching customers in August.
With a £164,750 price tag, it has been labelled by McLaren as “the most attainable McLaren Spider to date” and “a convertible without compromise”.
It represents the third bodystyle in McLaren’s Sports Series line, joining the coupe and GT, and completes the 0-62mph sprint in 3.2 seconds, with a top speed of 204mph.
Subaru WRX STI
The WRX STI Type RA NBR Special hardly rolls off the tongue, but this car will attempt a Nürburgring speed record this summer after its runs up the Goodwood hillclimb in the time attack open class and will be driven by rally and stunt driver Mark Higgins.
You may have seen the GT in reviews and on Top Gear but never before will it have been seen in public on UK soil. Expect to spot the GT dashing up the hill piloted by Ford Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell.
There won’t be any new models graced with the prancing horse at Goodwood.
Instead, the brand will celebrate 70 years of being with a collection of at least 70 significant Ferraris. This gathering will pull together competition sports cars and single seaters, incredible road cars and the very latest supercars, so expect at least one LaFerrari.
Ferrari reckons “it will be a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience” with around 25 iconic single-seater Ferraris, covering each of the key post-war Grand Prix eras.
Mahindra Racing M4Electro
Gaze over towards the hillclimb at any point over the Goodwood weekend and it’s likely you’ll spot the brand new Mahindra Racing Formula E car trying to set a new hillclimb record.
The M4Electro isn’t set to hit the tracks until the start of season four in December, but it will aim to make an impression by being driven by Goodwood master and Mahindra driver Nick Heidfeld – the fastest driver to run up the Goodwood hill, if you remember from the intro.
The fastest time for an electric vehicle on the hill is 47.34 seconds, set in 2013 by a Lola-Drayson prototype sportscar, so there’s nobody better suited to set a new record.
Okay, so Goodwood might not be littered with A-listers, but there will certainly be some familiar faces dotted about.
Just some of the stars set to tackle the hillclimb include actor Rowan Atkinson, model Jodie Kidd, celebrity chef James Martin, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, F1 driver and commentator for ITV, BBC and Sky Sports Martin Brundle, WWE and WCW wrestler Bill Goldberg, and three-time F1 world champion Sir Jackie Stewart.
One-off BAC Monos
Liverpool-based Briggs Automotive Company are responsible for the only single-seater, road-legal supercar – the Mono – and the brand will descend on Goodwood with three of its one-of-a-kind Monos.
Also on BAC’s stand will be no less than 12 Monos, which would represent the most ever gathered in one place at the same time.
Obviously, there are plenty more set to appear, but that’s just a sample of what to expect. What are you most looking forward to seeing in the metal? Let us know down there in the comments.
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