This year marked the 21st year of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, a three-day outdoor celebration of all things automotive. For 2014, the featured marques included 120 years of Mercedes-Benz in motorsport and the centennial of Maserati, but also included an array of activities for anyone, young or old, with a passion for automotive racing and culture.
One hundred years ago Mercedes swept to a 1-2-3 finish in the French Grand Prix and this year the German brand won the first six rounds of 2014 season, so the links with the Festival theme – ‘Addicted to Winning’ – remain relevant. In homage, the Jerry Judah central feature sculpture in front of the main house is a soaring celebration of a 1934 W25 and a 2013 Mercedes AMG Petronas W04 F1 car.
Maserati celebrated their centenary with a display in the Stable Yard of a wide line-up of models including the latest Alfieri concept from Geneva that has now been confirmed for production in 2016. One whole race class was also devoted to Maserati, ranging from the fabulous 250F in which Fangio won the 1957 German GP, the 2014 Trofeo MC, a Tipo 61 Birdcage, right up to a Quattroporte V8 racer from 2011.
Anniversary cars was a theme for this year: the Mazda MX-5 celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a whole corner dedicated to the car inspired by British icons such as the MG Midget and Lotus Elan, BMW brought the 30th Anniversary M5 model, Peugeot’s 208 GTi 30th Anniversary was seen running up the hill and a 30th Anniversary model of the Seat Ibiza was being shown.
New concepts included the Aston Martin DP-100 and Nissan Vision 2020, both created for the Gran Turismo racing series. The Peugeot Exalt, Seat Ibiza Cupster (an open top roadster version of Ibiza Cupra), Skoda Vision C and Yeti Xtreme concepts and the VW GTi Roadster were also featured in manufacturer tents.
The best new concept was undoubtedly Nissan’s 2020 Vision Gran Turismo, designed at Nissan’s European Design studio in Paddington, London, and shown as a full-size model for the first time. We happened upon Shiro Nakamura at the event, who was understandably beaming with excitement: “This is the first time I’ve gotten to see it [in full-size]!” he said.
Jaguar also launched the production version of last year’s F-Type based Project 7 Concept – up to 250 examples are planned to be built under the British car maker’s new Special Operations division. Other new launches included the Koenigsegg Agera One:1 (so called because of its 1bhp/kg power-to-weight ratio with a potential top speed of 237mph), McLaren 650S GT3 racer, Aston Martin V8 Vantage N430, Ford Focus ST, Lexus RC-F and facelifted Mercedes-Benz CLS.
Goodwood also offers a chance to catch up with some of Britain’s specialist makers offering new models. Some of these included the Arial Atom 3.5R and new Ace motorbike, the new Elemental RP1, Morgan Plus 8 Speedster, Noble M600, Trident Iceni, Twisted Ultimate and the Arash AF8 to name but a few.