Best cars at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed
We pick the best cars at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed, from new production models to insane hypercars and classic racers
The Auto Express team has been down at the 2015 Goodwood for the Festival of Speed, schmoozing with the motoring celebs, frequenting the champagne and lobster tent and, most importantly, casting an eye over the incredible cars. It's a tough job but someone's got to do it and there were no shortage of volunteers in the AE office when FoS time came around.
The 2015 version of the Goodwood Festival of Speed has turned up some absolutely fantastic cars but then, the FoS always does. Whether you like to lust after priceless 1960s Ferraris or go jelly-legged at the sound WRC exhausts barking through the trees of the rally stage, Goodwood is a destination for a car lovers with few equals.
For a complete taste of the sights and sounds of the 2015 Festival of Speed in the comfort of your own home, check out our main page. But here we've given the members of the Auto Express team the borderline impossible mission of picking their favourite cars from the magnificent selection at the event. Rest assured that the models we've picked as Goodwood's best are real crackers.
Scroll down the page or click through the gallery to discover more…
Alpine A110 Coupe
The Alpine A110 Coupe has always been impossibly pretty and has some impressive motorsport pedigree, too, with its one, two, three finish at the 1971 Monte Carlo Rally. At this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, though, it takes on a whole new significance.
The Alpine Celebration concept made its debut at the Le Mans 24hr race last week and will make another appearance at Goodwood, signalling the final leg of development before the Alpine brand relaunches next year. It also gives us our first glimpse of how the production car will look, complete with heavy visual references to the gorgeous A110 you see here. We know it will be mid-engined, and Renaultsport knows how to set up a chassis, let’s pray the finished article looks half as good as the A110.
Mercedes C111 concept
First shown by Mercedes at the 1969 Frankfurt Motor Show, the C111 still has the ability to shock with it’s wedgey profile and gullwing doors. It’s a car that was ahead of its time thanks to independent suspension and a lightweight fibre glass body, and despite intense interest from the public it never made it to full production.
Several prototypes were completed though, including this one with a 3.5-litre V8 engine, although the original show car was fitted with a more exotic Wankel rotary engine. A piece of automotive history that still has the ability to shock, even alongside the newer and faster SLS AMG and AMG GT.
VW Golf R400 concept
It’s a Golf, surely there is some more exotic titillating machinery around at Goodwood? Perhaps, but this isn’t any ordinary Golf it’s the Golf R400 that’s destined for production next year and takes the hot-hatch power war to a whole other level.
Whereas the new Audi RS3 resorts to five cylinders and 2.5-litres of swept capacity for its RS3, the R400 will churn out a barely believable 394bhp from a mere 2.0-litre turbocharged engine. There are whispers that Mercedes will give chase with an even more powerful A45 AMG before long, but chances are it won’t catch the Golf. Oh, and we already rate the 296bhp Golf R as one of the finest driver’s car out there, so with another 100bhp to play with, the R400 will be nothing short of sensational.
It’s not the fastest car at Goodwood, nor the most expensive, but it’s got to be one of the most exciting for real car buyers. The sleek styling and sharp details like the narrow headlights and angular grille are much more eye-catching in the flesh than in pictures, and it's perfectly proportioned. Add in a fantastic driving position, quality materials in the cabin and a short, stubby gearstick - it just makes you want to start the engine and hit the road. There’s no doubt this car will continue the MX-5’s reign as one of the best roadsters in the world.
Citroen DS 19 Le Paris
While there are plenty of motorsport legends and modern exotica on show at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, it’s this 1958 Citroen DS 19 Le Paris that is one of the most eye-catching models. Coachbuilder Henri Chapron turned his attention to the iconic DS in the 50s and came up with this beauty. Using the bodywork of the previous La Croisette model, Chapron’s conversions were not formally approved by Citroen and so he had to buy complete cars rather than a chassis and engine. Nine of these Le Paris models were built, and only three remain today.
This 850bhp custom Chevrolet truck really surprised us at the Goodoowd Festival of Speed 2015. To see it in motion is something else - the suspension is ultra-bouncy, meaning every time the 7.5-litre V8 is given a bootful by the driver it leans right back.
It's perfect for representing the variety of metal here at Goodwood - it's designed to roar through the desert at huge speeds, but it fits in just as well among the classics, supercars and racing cars here at the Festival of Speed.
Ferrari 205 GT Zagato
This is a rare one - in fact, this is one of just five 250 Zagatos in the world. It's got everything an Italian car fan could want - the Zagato trademartk 'double bubble' roof, a Ferrari V12 and one of the classiest interiors you will ever see. It's a car from the golden age of car design in the late fifties - and it shows. Surely this is one of the most beautiful cars here, and yet it can easily hide away in the corner of the lawn - it's not as in-your-face as many ultra-expensive rarities. This is pure understated beauty - and we love it.
Koeniggseg Agera R
The Koeniggseg Agera R was an amazing sight, featuring stunning blue and black carbon fibre bodywork with perfectly matching seams in the Goodwood sun. A 1,124bhp twin-turbocharged V8 engine gives the Agera a mind-blowing 273mph top speed. And that’s not all, because the 0-62mph sprint takes just 2.8 seconds, while 186mph is reached a small matter of 11.7 seconds later. It didn't quite stretch its legs to that extent at Goodwood but it certainly looked the part in the paddock.
What happens when you're given the chance to drive a car worth over £20m? As editor-in-chief Steve Fowler found out at Goodwood, you drive well within your limits! Steve had the honour of taking the Jaguar XJ13 up the Goodwood hill and he took things understandably easy in the one-off Jag that was built in 1966 to race at Le Mans but never took to the track in anger. It is a truly gorgeous thing.
Bill Shepherd's Mustangs
Specialist dealer Bill Shepherd's Mustang display featured a P51 Mustang warplane as well as cars. Shepherd's dealership has been the only dedicated Ford Mustang supplier in the country for over 25 years and stocks both classic and contemporary cars. The stand at Goodwood was Shelby themed and featured cars like the 1964 Mustang 260 convertible seen in the background here and the 1968 Mustang Replica in front.
Bill Shepherd Mustang doesn't just deal in a single model though and will source all manner of classic American cars for prospective buyers as well as maintaining and servicing these American muscle cars.
Rally-spec Kamaz truck
The Dakar Rally is one of the most fearsome automotive challenges in the world and this 4x4 rally-spec truck from team Kamaz is well equipped to tackle it. Functioning as support trucks to the racers these Cold War-era diesel monsters venture across the same rugged tracks as the racing machines they support, laden with spare pats and tools to ensure their teams finish successfully.
It wasn't long before the trucks were being raced against each other and soon the T4 class evolved, where the trucks became racers rather than supporters and with four, six and eight-wheel drive chassis' weighing in at over 20,000 pounds it's no mean feat to get one of these beasts across the desert.
Group B Lancia Delta S4
This Lancia Delta S4 was a big hit with the crowds at Goodwood. The S4 performed fantastically in world rallies and took full advantage of the Group B regulations by mounting its 1,759cc four-cylinder engine in the middle of the car. Through turbocharging and supercharging the car officially produced 480bhp, but some sources claimed that the actual number was closer to 560bhp. Lancia engineers in 1985 tested an S4's engine to extreme conditions and developed around 1,000bhp.
The S4 was a Delta only in name and body - it shared virtually nothing with the production Delta but it's still a worthy addition to the Goodwood lineup.
Dale Earnhardt's Chevrolet Monte Carlo
NASCAR stock car racing has produced some incredible machinery and this Chevrolet Monte Carlo is no exception. Piloted by the late Dale Earnhardt and seen here with his son, Kerry, this car won a race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2000 by just 0.01 seconds.
Dale's death came the next year when his car hit the wall head-on after colliding with Ken Schrader on the last lap at Daytona International Speedway. His death was highly publicised and as a result various safety improvements were made to NASCAR auto racing such as mandatory head-and-neck restraints, roof-hatch escape systems and safer barriers at all tracks.
Earnhardt was the fourth driver to die during NASCAR competition within a year, but since the safety improvements there have been no fatalities.
Get all the top stories and pics from the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed here...