Top 10 Cars of the Goodwood Festival of Speed
We round-up the best cars you can buy from Goodwood FOS
One of the great things about the Goodwood Festival of Speed is of course the cars, especially the number of new models on display. Another great thing about FOS is that the manufacturers don’t mind you getting up close, taking a seat inside and giving the car a mini review while you’re there. And this is exactly what we did.
We were reporting live from the Thursday of Goodwood FOS at the Moving Motor Show where there is less track entertainment but a lot more focus towards the manufacturer stands, test drives and having a good look at all of the new models that will be coming to showrooms soon. We visited every stand and looked at as many models as we could and below we’ve rounded up our top 10 best cars that you can, or will soon be able to buy.
Could these be the best new cars of 2016? We’ll soon find out.
- Audi Q2
The Audi Q2 was the missing model in Audi’s Q range of crossovers and SUVs. With small crossovers being so popular all Audi needed to do was to mention that they were going to be making a smaller model for everyone to take note. There’s been a lot of talk about the target audience, the interior technology and the personalisation of the Q2 and we’re pleased to say it certainly didn’t disappoint.
On display was a Vegas Yellow Q2 and with Audi having one of the largest stands of the festival with more cars than anyone else, it was interesting that the Q2 was one of the more popular models on display. The all-new R8 V10 Spyder was also there as well as the new SQ7, but it was the Q2 that crowds gathered to.
Straight away you’ll notice how much smaller it looks, it feels much more A3 than Q3 but this is no bad thing. It’s compact without feeling small and will fit in well in any urban environment. Interior quality is excellent as always, and this model even had Audi’s ‘Virtual Cockpit’ 12.3-inch display instead of traditional dials as well as a centre infotainment screen. If you like technology, gadgets and style is high on your list of wants in a car, there isn’t any better crossover than the Audi Q2.
- Lexus LC
The first thing to know about the new Lexus LC is that it has a 10-speed gearbox. The next thing you should know about the LC is that it looks incredible in person. Lexus are known for edgy design and the LC is the edgiest car they’ve built so far. It does look good though and has a real sense of presence about it.
If you don’t see it coming you will certainly hear it – it has a 5.0-litre V8 producing 467bhp that will no doubtably make an incredible noise. It’s a cross between a GT and a Japanese muscle car and makes for a great alternative choice from rival manufacturers.
Lexus wouldn’t let us get inside, but from the outside it looks typically luxurious, the type of car you could easily cruise for long distances and not feel tired afterwards.
It was sat next to the Lexus LFA, arguably one of the greatest hypercars of our time. The crowds did seem to gather towards the LFA more than the LC but apparently the LFA was a major influence for this latest although more modest model.
- Bentley Bentayga
Bentley brought along their first ever SUV to Goodwood. It’s by no means the most nimble as it weighs around three tonnes and it’s also by no means the cheapest at £160,000, but it is an incredible achievement. Alongside the Bentayga were the Mulsanne Speed and the Continental, cars that have been built around the highest levels of luxury and the Bentayga was no different.
The exterior looks much better than press shots you may have seen, almost sporty with it’s roof spoiler and rear diffuser. It doesn’t look like a Continental has been inflated to SUV size, it looks respectfully good. Inside is the real highlight as it manages to remain luxurious but also somewhat practical as well.
The quilted leather may not be to everyone’s taste but it is exceptionally comfortable and spacious for all passengers. All the materials are as good as you would expect and it doesn’t feel more bulky than a Range Rover. Is it worth the incredible premium over a Range Rover? If you need an SUV but want a Bentley it could well be.
- Renault Megane Sport Tourer GT
The Megane has had a much needed redesign and could very well be back in the running as a serious contender for the Ford Focus. On display was the Sports Tourer estate in the new top of the range GT trim. From the outside it looked great, sporty but discreet, by no means a RenaultSport model but also much more exciting than your standard estate.
Inside it feels like Renault have really stepped up in terms of quality. The centre console houses a portrait touchscreen infotainment system, similar to that in a Tesla and seems to work well. The front sports seats are supportive and the alcantara adds a sense of occasion to the whole interior, while the ambient lighting and switch gear add a sense of quality. It’s a delicate balance of comfortable family estate with just the right hint of sporty influence.
Most manufacturers seem to be trending towards a ‘warm’ trim level. Audi have had their S line specification for a long time now, so have BMW’s M Sport, but like Ford with their new ST-Line and Peugeot with their GT and GT-Line trims, Renault has also added a ‘sporty enough’ GT to the Megane and it seems to have worked well.
- Range Rover Sport SVR
We managed to get a really good look at the Range Rover Sport SVR, the first Special Vehicle Operations model to come from Jaguar Land Rover. It’s a good-looking car with not too many sporty extras added on to the exterior but with enough styling to add a sense of occasion.
While the SVR is more performance focused with it’s 5-litre supercharged V8, it still remains very much a luxurious SUV. Inside is just as plush as the regular Range Rover but with carbon fibre inlays to give it enough of a special feel and specially designed sports seats.
The real selling point of the Range Rover SVR is of course the performance with 542bhp and four-wheel drive meaning it can outpace even some sports cars.
- BMW M2 Coupé
The BMW M2 Coupé has been well received and rightly so. Over at the BMW M Avenue the M2 was one of the first cars on the line up and even next to the M4 GTS, it still remained one of the most fun. There’s not many other cars on sale that offer this kind of performance for the price – it’s compact, agile and feels pure BMW M.
It really does feel like the M2 Coupé has picked up where the 1 M Coupé left off but now it has been officially given ranks amongst the rest of the M division. Seeing it in this setting with the M3 Saloon behind and even the M6 makes you realise just what great value the M2 is and would explain why it’s been rated so well.
- Mazda MX-5 RF
Possibly the coolest convertible this summer? The MX-5 RF takes everything that’s great about the new MX-5 and adds even more class and elegance. It took centre stage at the Mazda stand and is easily worth the additional £2,500 or so over the soft-top.
The model on display was finished in a colour specially reserved for the RF and with dark alloy wheels it really looked incredible. Despite being an MX-5, it looked almost like a miniature supercar with it’s coupé-esque shape that remains even with the roof lowered. It may not be a full ‘convertible’ with nothing but air behind you, only the roof directly above you and the glass behind you retracts, but in a way you are buying two cars – an elegant coupé roof up and a stunning roadster roof down.
The standard MX-5 has won countless awards and we can see the MX-5 RF winning some too. It’s taken the recipe that has worked so well for the MX-5 over the years and added just enough class to make it something truly special.
- Nissan GT-R
It’s incredible to think the Nissan GT-R has been around since 2007 and every year or so Nissan make it just a little bit better. This year the GT-R has been given possibly its biggest makeover yet with subtle but effective exterior tweaks and biggest of all, a brand new interior.
With prices now around £80,000 it’s getting harder to choose the Nissan over something like a Porsche that can be had for around the same price. So to keep customers happy, Nissan took all feedback onboard and created a much more luxurious interior and it certainly is more luxurious.
There’s no alcantara and rollcages, it’s much more two-tone leather and fine finishes. There’s subtle carbon inlays to still give the GT-R a sporty feel and even some aluminum, it’s just a much more relaxing place to be.
- Audi S5 Coupé
Another debut from Audi, this time the all-new S5 Coupé that had only been unveiled a few weeks earlier. The exterior may only be an evolutionary change, but with a design that has worked so well, Audi have decided to improve on it rather than change it altogether. It’s still sporty but understated.
The front gets new headlights and a larger more prominent grille while larger air intakes make the S5 seem wider and give it a more performance-focused look. To the rear is a slightly larger diffuser housing two twin exhausts and a subtle rear spoiler.
Inside is where the main change has happened as the S5 adopts everything we have seen from recent new Audis. There’s the Audi Virtual Cockpit also seen in the new Q2, a larger centre infotainment screen and new air vents that actually stretch across the whole width of the dashboard. It’s a very high quality cabin.
- Tesla Model X
The Tesla Model X has been given a lot of hype ever since it was announced. Whether it be the falcon doors or the ‘Bio Hazard Defense Mode’ which is an interesting way of saying HEPA filtered air conditioning, the Model X had a lot to live up to. And it has.
Tesla easily had the biggest crowd at the festival with only one Model X on display and couple of Model S. Inside the Model X and it feels like nothing else apart from another Tesla. The cockpit is home to the same 17-inch display as the Model S where everything is controlled from while passengers in the back are treated to generous legroom and of course those fantastic doors.
Tesla do things differently and the Model X is a prime example. If this is the future of motoring then it’s looking good!