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Goodwood 2023 – Festival of Speed highlights

 Published 11th August 2023
Driver Guides 

With the threat of thunderstorms and wind speeds approaching 60mph, the unprecedented decision was taken to keep the gates at Goodwood closed on the Saturday of this year's Festival of Speed. The combination of high winds, thousands of visitors, and a 30m sculpture adorned with millions of pounds worth of Porsches clearly isn't a good one.

Despite the loss of the Saturday following a rain-soaked hill-climb event on Friday, the 30th anniversary of the Goodwood Festival of Speed was still a great success.

Across the three days that remained, fans witnessed a huge variety of modern and classic cars racing up the hill, as well as a host of racing drivers showing off their skills. There was also the chance to catch a glimpse of some of the new cars that will be heading our way in the next year or so.

The Festival of Speed attracts many of the biggest names in the automotive industry, many of which take the opportunity to unveil the latest models to the general public. While many of them definitely won't feature on your list of lease options – unless you suddenly find a few million quid stuffed down the back of the sofa – there are a few that may well become a possibility for your next car.

We've taken a quick look at some of the amazing new offerings that appeared over the shortened weekend.


Porsche Cayenne

In the year that Porsche celebrates its 75th anniversary, it was a fitting choice for this year's Central Feature. As well as a host of historic models, Porsche also revealed the latest version of the Cayenne SUV. Credited as being the car that saved the company, the newest Porsche Cayenne features revised looks, updated interior, and improved powertrain options.

The entry-level Cayenne sees the power from its twin-turbo V6 rise to 350bhp, while the same engine also powers the 470bhp hybrid version. The Turbo version has been dropped from the range but as compensation for this the Cayenne S has replaced its V6 engine with a 470bhp 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8. The interior has also been digitised to match the electric Taycan and now features a 12.6-inch digital instrument cluster, a 12.3-inch infotainment display, and an optional 10.9-inch display for the passenger.


Ford Explorer

Sticking with the SUV theme, Ford chose the festival to debut its new all-electric Explorer. Based on a VW platform it starts a new chapter in Ford's history as it moves away from the small hatchback market to embrace a more upmarket design.

Fresh styling and a new interior layout dominated by a large portrait touchscreen in the dashboard give a hint of the luxury Ford is aiming for. The new Ford Explorer also has heated massage seats, a heated steering wheel, keyless entry, and an electrically operated boot. You'll get a choice of 52kWh and 77kWh batteries with the 52kWh models offering a range of around 220 miles from a charge, while the larger battery should give you up to 335 miles. Ford is also expected to offer a 340bhp dual-motor option with a sub-six second 0-60mph time.


Nio ET5

If you're thinking of going electric you might want to consider this Tesla Model 3 rival from China. Expected to go on sale in the UK later this year, the Nio ET5 is an electric mid-sized saloon that the company claims is perfectly suited for the European market.

The Nio ET5 comes with a dual-motor powertrain, which comprises a 201bhp motor on the front axle and a 282bhp motor at the rear. The combined output of 483bhp will make it a desirable choice with a 0-60mph time of around 4 seconds. Battery options are likely to start with either a 75kWh or 100kWh unit with talk of a long-range 155kWh battery pack to follow.


BMW 5 Series

A more traditional choice for a quality saloon will be the recently unveiled new BMW 5 Series which is due to arrive in 2024. This is the 8th generation of the 5 Series and will be the last to feature models powered solely by an internal combustion engine.

The new range will feature both petrol and diesel engines alongside PHEV and full EV versions. To begin, you'll be limited to four-cylinder models only, with power ranges from 190bhp to 205bhp in the basic 520d and 520i available at launch. The range-topping i5 will have two options: the rear-drive eDrive40 with 330bhp and the all-wheel-drive M60 xDrive offering a whopping 510bhp. If you're prepared to wait a little longer there's also a new M5 on the way featuring a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 hybrid that will pack a punch in excess of 700bhp.


Hyundai Ioniq 5 N

If you fancy something ‘hot' you might be interested in the brief peak we got of the Ioniq 5 N. Hyundai has finally taken the covers off the highly-anticipated Ioniq 5 N, a 640bhp electric mega-hatch that aims to inject "feeling and emotion" into the EV era.

This hot hatch version shares the same platform as the standard Ioniq 5 but gets a larger, 84kWh battery, a bespoke all-wheel-drive powertrain, and a suite of technological additions to enhance the driving experience. Engage the ‘N Grin Boost' mode and power is boosted to 641bhp and 567lb ft of torque, which is enough to leave a BMW M3 in your wake.


Kia EV9

If you're more interested in space than speed, there's an upcoming flagship seven-seat electric SUV in the shape of the Kia EV9 hat may catch your eye. This new luxury SUV made its debut at Goodwood ahead of its official launch later this year.

When the EV9 goes on sale it will be with a choice of two powertrains: rear-wheel drive with 200bhp, and a dual-motor version offering 378bhp and a 6 second 0-60mph time. Kia's new flagship will come as standard with a 99.8kWh battery offering a range of up to 336 miles between charges. Plug it into a superfast charger and it will be capable of gaining 148 miles of range in just 15 minutes.


Range Rover Sport SV

Another new luxury SUV to see the light of day was the upcoming Range Rover Sport SV, although be aware you'll have to wait a while to get your hands on one. Edition One models will be available by invitation-only and not until those initial customers have been catered for will the new performance flagship be offered to the general public.

The 4.4-litre petrol V8 produces more power than its 5.0-litre supercharged V8 predecessor and should be good for 0-60mph in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 180mph. A new hydraulic interlinked air suspension means Range Rover can promise a near-level stance while cornering, and it's also the first Range Rover to have the option of carbon ceramic brakes as well as optional 23-inch carbon fibre wheels. Given this range-topping model is likely to carry a price tag of around £150k you can expect to find the usual level of Range Rover luxury all over the interior too.

It wouldn't be Goodwood without a dose of high-octane madness though. Even if you'll never end up driving one it's still interesting to see what exciting new ideas appear every year.


MG EX4 – A unique concept for Goodwood

Alongside the new MG4 XPower and the glorious looking Cyberster, MG also revealed a third high performance MG during the Festival of Speed. Designed by MG's team in London, the MG EX4 is a rally-inspired one-off that showcased what we might expect from the brand in the future.

The MG EX4 is a fantastic throwback to the Metro 6R4 rally legend of the 1980s. The original was a mid-engined, six-cylinder, four-wheel drive monster, and if you can lay your hands on one of them it will be worth somewhere north of £150k. This new version is based on the same electric underpinnings as the MG4 XPower but somehow this stripped-down beast generates 429bhp and can hit 60mph in around 3.5 seconds. The MG EX4 also featured a distinctive livery designed especially for Goodwood and celebrating the 4oth anniversary of the original Metro 6R4.


McLaren Solus GT – Fastest up the hill

It may be the fastest car to climb the hill this year, but that doesn't make it any less strange. The Solus GT started life as a virtual Gran Turismo car – yes, we do mean the video game - but unlike most track day cars that at least share something with the road-legal versions, this one is nothing like any McLaren you can go out and buy.

For a start, it doesn't have any doors so you climb into the single-seat cockpit via a sliding canopy just like a fighter pilot. Once you're strapped in you can fire up the 5.2-litre V10 engine and go break some lap records. With its closed cockpit and fared-in wheels, the McLaren Solus GT delivers the kind of performance that would make an F1 car nervous. It weighs less than 1000kg, and at full speed it produces 1200kg of downforce to allow you to fly through corners. The massive engine revs to more than 10,000rpm and produces more than 830bhp so that top speed is easily in excess of 200mph.


Lamborghini Revuelto – A new direction

The Lamborghini Revuelto represents one of the biggest changes to grace the 2023 Festival of Speed. For 60 years Lamborghini has enthusiastically embraced the power of internal combustion. The switch to electricity is a challenge all manufacturers are facing, and the Revuelto is the first hybrid supercar to wear the raging bull on its nose.

That doesn't mean all is lost for traditional Lamborghini fans though. Sitting alongside the batteries and motors is a 9,000rpm 6.5-litre V12 engine bolted to an all-new eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox, all of which combines to put more than 1000bhp under your right foot. And that means 2.5 seconds to 60mph, 124mph comes up in under 7 seconds, and a top speed of more than 217mph, and it can even recharge its own battery direct from the V12 engine. Although, if you do fancy splashing out it's worth noting the order book is currently full until at least 2026.

If you missed this year's festival, dates for the 2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed have now officially been announced. Goodwood 2024 will take place from Thursday 11-Sunday 14 July, with tickets due to go on sale on Monday 6 November.

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