2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Events: 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed

By Tim Kendall | 11th July 2013

Officially we no longer have a British Motorshow. It’s been replaced by something far more interesting, diverse and interactive – the motoring garden party/ festival/ pageant – call it what you will. And I reckon these new-style events are night and day better than before. Although they aren’t quite ‘new’ – Goodwood Festival of Speed is now into its 20th year. But a more indulgent summers day for a petrolhead would be hard to find.

Every year there’s a theme – and as 2013 marks 50 years of the Porsche 911, that’s what the organisers have plumped for. As the typically spectacular sculpture in front of Lord March’s stately pile hints…

2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed marks 50 years of Porsche 911

2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed marks 50 years of Porsche 911

There’s also the usual supercar paddock replete with a smorgasbord of exotica, some mightily expensive-looking manufacturer stands and of course the moving motorshow, allowing Joe Public to get a drive, or ride in whatever they fancy (to a point – many are booked up pretty quickly…). Best get in early if you want to drive something special then.

The 2013 Goodwood FoS Hillclimb in a Volvo S60 Polestar

This year, the kind people at Volvo Car UK sorted me a ride in the fearsome S60 Polestar. The what?

Now this is not just a Volvo, this is a Volvo on acid. They’ve built four of the beasts – one for a customer in Dubai (where else) one for another committed Volvo fan in Australia, and a couple more for other wealthy lovers of the Scandinavian marque. Now, £300,000 for a Volvo may sound steep, but then the S60 Polestar is a 508hp twin-turbo nutjob that’s capable of hitting 60mph in 3.9 seconds. And boy, does it feel special. And disturbingly quick.

That my first ever run up the famous Goodwood hill was in one of these is fitting – the first powerful car I ever got my hands on was one of the old Volvo ‘flying bricks’ of BTCC fame – the 850 T5. The fact our pilot – a slightly unhinged  Polestar racing driver – gave the BMW M6 in front of us a massive head start and caught it up in no time, says all you need to know about the ballistic pace this thing generates. Just stunning.

Volvo S60 Polestar 508hp

Hands down the most mental Volvo you will ever find – the S60 Polestar

Of course, the one downside to the Goodwood Festival of Speed is the monumental traffic jams it generates around the creaking roads of Sussex. You can spend hours crawling the last 5 miles onto the Goodwood estate. But once in, soak up the atmosphere – it’s as much about the noise, smell and surroundings as anything else.

2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed

2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed

2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed

2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Renault Clio Williams Goodwood Festival of Speed 2013

Renault Clio Williams at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2013

 

Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake Brabus

Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake Brabus at the Festival of Speed 2013

Another highlight is always the carpark – the spread of special metal on show is normally as interesting as what lies inside the gates….

Mercedes SL65 AMG

Mercedes SL65 AMG – wonder who this belongs to??

 

2013 Goodwood Moving Motorshow Video

 

By Tim Kendall
11th July 2013

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