June. It’s a great month for sporting events: there’s the Euros of course, but June traditionally means Queen’s Club tennis; Royal Ascot, and that other social staple of the month – Goodwood.
This week Lord March’s West Sussex estate again plays host to the largest UK celebration of all things automotive. Brilliant!
The theme is ‘Full Throttle – The Endless Pursuit of Power’. It’s a celebration of the most powerful competition cars and motorcycles, along with the drivers and riders who tamed them. But it’s also the place where manufacturers wheel out the hottest new metal and even better – you can see many of them in action as they take to the famous hill course.
So, if you plan to go to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, what should you look out for?
Abarth 124 Spider
Okay, the Abarth might be an MX-5 in drag, but this hot 124 is a very different flavour to the iconic Japanese sportscar on which it’s based.
First, it looks great – very like the original Fiat. But for the 124 to be worthy of the iconic Abarth badge, power is up to 170bhp from its 1.4-litre turbocharged engine, with 0-62mph acceleration in just 6.8 seconds. I can’t wait to find out more about this fiery Italian roadster.
I spoke about the frankly barmy 1479bhp (yes, no typos there…) replacement for the Bugatti Veyron supercar when it was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year.
Well, not only will lucky Goodwood visitors get to see what I reckon will be the future world production car speed record holder, they will be able to see this £1.9 million hypercar in action, as it goes up the hill at Goodwood over the weekend. I so want a go: just where did I put my lottery numbers…
Ford Fiesta ST200
How do you follow a Bugatti? Downsize, that’s what – with a Fiesta? Ah, but this is no ordinary Ford supermini. It’s an ST, which is a good start because it’s one of the sharpest superminis on the road, but as a special present to celebrate the Fiesta’s 40th birthday, Ford has turned up the power wick to 200PS!
The result is the fastest Fiesta ever and according to reports I’ve read, it’s still as much fun to drive. You’ll spot the ST200 by the Storm Grey paint and matt black alloys. I reckon the Ford stand at Goodwood is going to be one of the places to head for hot hatch lovers. After all, who doesn’t love a good hot hatch?
The Levante is proof that Maserati can do SUVs as well as sportcars.
The resulting Jaguar F-Pace rival handles like you’d expect a Maserati SUV should; the 3.0-litre diesel with 271bhp gives the power you’d expect, the interior is luxurious and spacious and finally it looks interesting – I’d urge you to go to the Maserati stand at Goodwood to make your own mind up.
MINI John Cooper Works Challenge
Another fast MINI? Well, you wouldn’t have something sensible at Goodwood… And this really, really hasn’t got its sensible shoes on. The Challenge is the closest thing to a roadgoing version of the racers that are screeching round the race tracks of the UK.
Yes it might look like the standard hatch with a couple of body mods, but for £32,000, just 100 lucky owners will get hold of this numbered limited edition with special features including the fully-adjustable Nitron suspension, lightweight Team Dynamics wheels with super sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tyres and a proper limited-slip differential. Nuff said. A definite future classic.