The Goodwood Festival of Speed, one of the world’s biggest automotive gatherings—think all of Monterey Car Week in a single place—triumphantly returned to the south of England this past weekend, packed with plenty of supercars and heart-racing spectacles. Set on the vast estate of the Duke of Richmond (who also hosts the retro-themed Goodwood Revival), the centerpiece of the event is a 1.6-mile hill climb, where race cars and production cars compete to set the fastest lap. Here are some of this year’s highlights from the festivities.
Porsche Showcases the 963 LMDh
Porsche has a celebrated history in endurance racing and looks to add to its legacy with its newest race car, the Le Mans Daytona hybrid (LMDh) prototype. Set to compete for Porsche Penske Motorsport in the 2023 race season, the 963 LMDh will run in the FIA World Endurance Championship—including the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans—and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
With a combination of spec and custom elements, the LMDh class creates a single set of specifications across racing series, making it more affordable and more efficient for manufacturers to run. Spec elements include the chassis, battery, electric motor and gearbox, while each team is free to develop its own internal combustion engine and aerodynamics. The Porsche 963 uses a 4.6-liter biturbo V-8 mill based on the power plant from the 918 Spyder. And although Porsche hasn’t yet confirmed performance specs, the LMDh class is restricted to a maximum output of 640 hp. Other manufacturers who plan to compete in LMDh include Acura, BMW and Cadillac.
Lucid Air Sets the Fastest Production-Car Lap Record
Pro driver Ben Collins—AKA the Stig from Top Gear—drove the 1,050 hp Lucid Air electric sedan to victory over the weekend with a record time for a production car of 50.79 seconds. The automaker claims that its Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance variant, driven by Collins, was completely stock, even down to the low-rolling-resistance tires. Lucid has come a long way since we first saw a prototype back in 2017, thanks to its level-headed CEO (and former Tesla engineer) Peter Rawlinson pushing to deliver a product with superior range, efficient packaging and quality that matches high-level luxury brands.
Design director Derek Jenkins and team have done an admirable job creating a sleek, elegant aesthetic with materials and finishes that are sustainable as well as beautiful. Also on display at Goodwood was the company’s Dream Edition Performance model with 1,111 hp and an (unofficial) estimated range of about 560 miles. We’re eager for Lucid to drop its next model, the seven-seat Gravity SUV, which is slated for next year.
BMW M Division Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary
BMW celebrated five decades of its M performance division as the featured marque at this year’s Festival of Speed, and brought an extensive field that included both classic cars and its newest models. Making its world debut was the BMW M3 Touring, a 510 hp wagon that, sadly, will not be sold stateside. It will, however, be used by MotoGP as its official safety car, which also premiered at Goodwood. Also on display (sort of) was BMW’s entry into the LMDh racing class, appearing in camouflage high above the ground as part of Goodwood’s dramatic central sculpture, which featured iconic cars from M division’s half-century of existence.
Earlier this month, BMW released renderings of its LMDh car, which is powered by its own V-8 engine, but we’ve yet to see it close-up in the metal. “We put the car up at the very top of the sculpture so Porsche couldn’t see what we’re doing,” BMW M CEO Franciscus Van Meel quipped. “But I can tell you, the design will include BMW’s famous Hofmeister kink.”
Lamborghini Shows Off Its Aventador Ultimae and Huracán Tecnica
Lamborghini says arrivederci to its flagship Aventador with a final special edition before the brand moves to hybrid power trains in 2023. The 780 hp Ultimae coupe is limited to 350 examples and is powered by Lambo’s much-loved (but soon antiquated) naturally aspirated V-12 engine.
As the Raging Bull bid farewell to its past, it also showed off its immediate future with the Huracán Tecnica. The latter is a tech-centric, rear-wheel-drive variant in the Huracán line with 631 hp. This is rumored to be Lamborghini’s last (or second to last, depending on the source) V10-powered Huracán, which is sure to inspire collectors to get them while they can.
Polestar Presents the New 5 Super Sedan
It was a big week for Polestar, the future-forward Volvo spinoff, with an IPO on the NASDAQ stock exchange that saw a nearly 16 percent jump in its first day of trading. Meanwhile, at Goodwood, Polestar was presenting a prototype version of its 884 hp super sedan wearing grey camouflage and a fat set of tires that screeched up the hill in impressive time.
Max Missoni, Polestar’s head of design, tells us that the prototype we saw is not the Polestar 5’s final look, but assures us it will be “very close” to the Polestar Precept, the concept car unveiled in 2020 that set the tone for the brand’s future design language. (The Precept was also named Best Interior Design by Robb Report that year.) Also on display was the head-turning O2 concept, a 2+2 roadster unveiled earlier this year, which rides on the Precept’s platform and comes with a built-in drone that follows and records driving for the ultimate social media reels. The production version of the Polestar 5 is set for 2024.