We have all the latest motoring news for you plus we take a look back at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2023.
While many are thinking about summer holidays, the motor industry has been extremely busy lately. As well as the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Tata has announced a multi-billion pound investment in a new battery plant in Somerset for electric vehicles, Tesla says it has actually started production of the Cybertruck and there’s loads of debate about Net Zero plans, ULEZ expansion and autonomous cars. We’re staying out of that for now so instead have some new model news.
Sneak peek inside the new Mini
BMW has provided some details of the interior of the new Mini, due to be fully revealed in a couple of months. The big news is the new Mini Interaction Unit which is the new term for the central infotainment screen. It’s still circular just like the original Mini’s central speedo, but it’s grown over the last generation to 240mm and is now an organic LED (OLED) display with up to eight Mini Experience Modes. These feature different lights and even sounds and can be connected to an optional light projector on the back to cover the whole top of the dashboard in colours and patterns. We’d put money on there being a Paul Smith pattern at some point.
There will be a new “Hey Mini” personal assistant, a brand new operating system based on Android and the Mini Connected Store will enable users to download a wealth of apps, including games like Go-Kart, although time will tell if my kids think it’s as cool as the go-karting game in a Tesla. Damn Musk and his gimmicks.
Hyundai designers are enjoying testing emotive design, switching between geometric angles such as on the Ioniq 5 and elegant curves with the Hyundai Ioniq 6. They're doing the same at Kia as well, just look at the difference between the muscular EV6 and the recently unveiled EV9 with its hewn from rock styling. It’s no surprise then that Hyundai has followed the block of Kia with its new seven-seater Santa Fe. There are echoes of Land Rover in there and more than a passing resemblance to American SUV styling too. It’s a massive change for the Santa Fe and as with all good design, it will have its fans and its haters.
inside it gets a vast minimalist dashboard with a flat panel containing two screens, vents that appear to span the whole dash and clean lines in the doors. It’s all simple and elegant, a further showcase of how Hyundai and Kia are moving into the premium territory of Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes. There’s plenty of tech, but it’s all nicely integrated and the Santa Fe gets H-shaped LED lights front and rear. We’re intrigued by this one and if you are too then look out for more details when it gets its full reveal in August.
Now let’s get to our Goodwood review. It is thirty years since the Duke of Richmond first set off from the start-line of the famous hillclimb on his estate in a Jaguar D-Type. In 2023 he recreated that moment in the same car for the 30th anniversary of the Goodwood Festival of Speed and what was to be a very special weekend of all things motoring.
We only attended on the Thursday but it was clear while sitting in traffic to get in that the festival was more popular than ever this year. That was equally apparent from the huge crowds of people and the queues to get over the limited number of bridges to cross the track. Not that anyone really cared because it was an event featuring not just the best cars from history but new models and future ones too. There was something for everyone, from classic F1 cars to modern electric vehicles and some hydrogen ones for the future. There were celebrities like Keanu Reeves and Renee Zellweger and F1 drivers new and old including Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel, Oscar Piastri, Damon Hill and the the ever-present Sir Jackie Stewart.
It was a weekend of firsts, not least of all with the first time a day had to be cancelled in the event’s thirty year history. Amber weather warnings for wind on the Saturday meant there were concerns over the many temporary structures on the site and so the organisers erred on the side of caution and battened down the hatches.
Pick-up for the Ineos Grenadier
That was an unfortunate first, but there were plenty of nicer ones in the form of the first sight of many new models, some making their global debut at Goodwood. One was the hydrogen fuel cell version of the Ineos Grenadier, but that’s a prototype. One that isn’t is the new Grenadier Quartermaster, the pick-up version of the SUV. It’s a double-cab with a near identical interior to the SUV version, but the body is 305mm longer to create a load-bed that is 1,564mm long and 1,619mm wide with a payload of 760kg. The Quartermaster uses the same BMW petrol or diesel engines that help give it a 3,500kg towing capacity. Order books are open with deliveries set to begin later this year and there will be a wide range of accessories, whether you need something to work on the farm or are in search of exciting new adventures.
Hyundai finally pulled the camouflage off its Ioniq 5 N, a 650hp performance electric vehicle that features a clever e-shift transmission and active sound, all engineered to try and make it appeal more to the enthusiast. Any electrohead who buys one will also be able to say they have a car that features N Race, N Pedal, N Brake Regen, N Drift Optimiser, N Torque Distribution, N Launch Control, N Grin Boost and N Road Sense, although by this point all their friends will have gone to a different pub.
It is the first electric vehicle from Hyundai’s N performance division and it has been designed and engineered to be as mean as it is clean with a focus as much on circuit driving as being unplugged and heading off to the local supermarket. There’s way too much for us to list here without risking you going off to read something else so when we get our hands on one we’ll be sure to tell you what all its gadgets are about.
MG brought its Cyberster to the event but much of the focus was on the new MG4 XPower with all-wheel drive, 435hp and a 0-62mph time of 3.8 seconds. It even has a track mode display and launch control, but more importantly it’s priced from £36,495. That’s incredible performance for the price and it’s electric so it’s clean performance. Sign us up.
BMW gave the new 5 Series its public debut and Porsche showed its new Cayenne and 718 Spyder RS together with the Mission X and 357 concept cars. Genesis had is GV80 Coupe and X Convertible concepts while more concept models were to be found in the form of the Aim EV Sport 01, Caterham Project V and the Alpine A290 Beta.
Motorsport is always a major theme and as well as the many F1 and world rally cars in action over the weekend, the Le Mans 2023-winning Ferrari 499P was on show. However it was the Lamborghini SC63 that grabbed our attention, the Italian automaker’s new entry for Le Mans 2024 into the hypercar class. It looks stunning and is the latest in a series of entries from brands that promise to make next year’s race and World Endurance Championship very exciting.
Now we admit that do get a bit of supercar fatigue from time to time, after all barely a day seems to go by that some very expensive new toy isn’t launched. However, seeing, or rather hearing the McLaren Solus GT go up the hill at Goodwood was a serious goosebumps moment. Its 5.2-litre V10 develops 840hp but it’s the sound it makes that’s so incredible. It looks good and clearly goes well because it claimed the title of the fastest car in the timed shootout final on the Sunday.
From new cars to old cars and the Cartier Style et Luxe featured some of the best motor cars every made, with the concours won by a 1937 Bentley 4 1/4 Rothschild Sedanca Coupe by Gurney Nutting.
Now we start to look ahead to the Revival event at Goodwood later this year, so best we find a period correct outfit then.
Finally, all the best to the Formula E teams this weekend as they compete in the final race of the season, the Hankook London E-Prix. Four drivers are in with a shout at the title, including Jake Dennis for Avalanche Andretti, Nick Cassidy of Envision Racing, Mitch Evans of Jaguar TCS Racing and Pascal Wehrlein of Tag Heuer Porsche. Envision are leading the team championship but both Jaguar and Porsche are in with a chance of taking the title. It all comes down to London, game on.
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