Since 1993, the Goodwood Festival of Speed has been one of the biggest automotive events in the world. Held just after the 24 Hours of Le Mans, its festivities attract some of the most legendary cars from throughout history. It’s an open love letter to the car, a place where you can see a Le Mans-winning Jaguar, a pre-war Alfa Romeo, and a preproduction Ford Mustang all in the same day.
On top of attracting blue-chip classics with its concours-level auto show, the highlight is the annual hill climb, where everything from vintage racers to brand-new hypercars can show off what they’ve got scrambling up the grounds of Goodwood Estate. This year, the collection of new cars was almost good enough to steal the thunder from the dozens of priceless vintage metal. From hot hatches to track-only hypercars, this year’s Festival of Speed brought together automotive past, present, and future better than any other event in the world.
From the many, many memorable cars on display, here are 8 new cars that almost stole the show at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.
8. Aston Martin Vulcan
When Aston Martin unveiled its $2.3 million hypercar earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show, it stunned the automotive world – and that was just with a rolling mock-up. At Goodwood, Aston unleashed a fully-functional Vulcan in all its snarling, tire-shredding glory, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. With an 7.0 liter V12 delivering over 800 horsepower, Aston says it can go from zero to 60 in under 3 seconds, and max out at just over 200 miles per hour. The problem? Only 24 cars will be built, and none of them will be street legal.
7. Ford Focus RS
While Europe has enjoyed the spoils of Ford’s Rally Sport cars since the 1960s, they’ve been forbidden fruit stateside – until now, that is. For 2016, we’ll finally be getting Ford’s hottest hatch, and at Goodwood’s hill climb, we got our best look yet at what it can do. With rally/drifting legend Ken Block behind the wheel, the RS made short work carving Goodwood’s corners, and put all of its 345 horsepower to work. With power going to all four wheels thanks to Ford’s new torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system, the RS is more powerful than the V6 and EcoBoost Mustangs, and should be an instant performance car contender when it hits U.S. showrooms later this year.
6. Renault Alpine Celebration
Although it was unveiled at the 24 Hours of LeMans s a concept, the Renault Alpine Celebration will be hitting the streets in 2016, and was on hand at Goodwood alongside other historic Alpine cars to help celebrate the brand’s 60th anniversary. Due in 2016, the production Alpine is a mid-engined fighter set to take on the likes of the Porsches Boxter and Cayman, and the Alfa Romeo 4C. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely to make its way stateside.
5. Honda Civic Type-R
After becoming the biggest “will they, won’t they” automotive debate in recent memory, Honda announced that they will be importing the Focus RS-fighting Civic Type-R to the U.S. – for its next generation. Until then, we’ll have to admire what The Daily Mail has dubbed “the people’s supercar” from afar. With a top speed of 167 miles per hour, and a zero to 62 time of 5.7 seconds, the Type-R is the fastest front-wheel drive production car to have ever lapped the Nürburgring, and is the current top dog in the hot hatch segment. We’ll be counting down the days until it comes stateside.
4. Lotus 3-Eleven
Lotus may not have the resources of its competitors, but it’s had a pretty productive 2015 so far. Unveiled at Goodwood, the 3-Eleven is a track-ready beast that just so happens to be the most powerful Lotus ever built. With 450 horsepower from a mid-mounded supercharged V6, Lotus claims that the 1,984 pound race-spec version will sprint from zero to 60 in under 3 seconds, and top out between 174-180 miles per hour. With Lotus returning to the US for 2016, there’s an outside chance we’ll be seeing 3-Elevens buzzing around stateside sooner rather than later.
3. Nissan Juke-R 2.0
In 2011, a few of Nissan’s engineers went insane and wedged the drivetrain from a GT-R supercar into a subcompact Juke crossover, creating Juke-R Nismo, one of the most bizarre performance cars of all time. It proved to be such a good idea that it even sold a few of them – for about $660,000 each. So how did Nissan’s mad scientists follow that up? By doing it all over again. Unveiled at Goodwood, Nissan put the most powerful GT-R powerplant available into the little Juke, creating the 600 horsepower twin-turbocharged Juke-R 2.0, a crossover that takes the sleeper car concept to a whole new level. No word yet on production, but don’t expect it to be any cheaper than the earlier cars.
2. Peugeot 308 GTi
Muscle cars never quite caught on in Europe; instead their most performance cars of choice are the insanely fast (and astonishingly practical) hot hatches, and the new 308 GTi is Peugeot’s hottest yet. Unveiled at Goodwood, the French hatch isn’t as fast as the Focus RS or the Type-R, but with up to 270 horsepower and a zero to 60 time of 6 seconds flat, it’s more than enough to leave a standard Volkswagen GTI in the dust. Like the Renault Alpine, though, there’s no chance you’ll see a 308 GTi in America before its old enough to be exempt from 25 year import ban.
1. Ferrari 488 GTB
For six years, the Ferrari 458 Italia has been the backbone of the company’s lineup. But after a successful run, the 458 will be replaced by the all-new 488 GTB. While it was unveiled at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Ferrari let the faithful get a better look at it in its natural habitat – in front of a sprawling estate surrounded by other Ferraris. With a design that’s more evolutionary than ground-breaking, the 488 GTB ditches the 458’s naturally-aspirated mill for a mid-mounted 3.9 liter twin-turbocharged V8 good for a whopping 661 horsepower, which should be good enough to take the car from zero to 62 in 3 seconds flat.