Ferrari's 458 Italia is more than just a pretty face - one of the coolest names in motoring history?
Honda Civic Mugen Type R: it's mad, and you'd be mad to miss it
Only 101 Focus RS500s are coming to the UK - and they're all sold out
The Porsche Boxster Spyder is particularly rare in the UK - Goodwood is a good chance to see one
The British motor show may be dead, but doesn't this look so much more entertaining?
The British motor show may well be dead – but all is not lost. How many of us will really miss traipsing round an enormous, hot exhibition hall in the height of summer, when every exciting new car being launched this year will be on show at the big addition to the Goodwood Festival of Speed?
The Goodwood Moving Motor Show is on tomorrow, the day before the FoS. Coughing up £20 gets you a ticket to the event, and as part of it you’ll be able to watch the cars you’d normally only see on static display roaring up Lord March’s famous driveway.
Everything from the new Peugeot RCZ to the Mercedes SLS, via the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta, will be there. And if you turn up early, and are a genuinely interested buyer, you may even be able to book an opportunity of your own to drive up the hill. It’s a motor show on wheels, and to these ears at least, it sounds like a rather good idea.
Not just a pretty face, Ferrari’s new mid-engined V8 sports car has one of the coolest names, and is arguably THE car that McLaren wants to beat with its new MP4-12C (which will also be at the festival, though not at the Moving Motorshow itself). It’ll be worth going to the FoS just to hear the 458 at full chat.
2. Honda Civic Mugen Type R
The world’s maddest and most expensive hot hatch is a once in a lifetime kind of driving experience, and if you get the chance, you should take it. Revving this car to its 8900rpm red line is almost as hilarious as it is throwing it at a corner. Either way, even just a passenger ride would be too good to miss.
3. Peugeot RCZ
The RCZ is very possibly Peugeot’s best looking car ever (even if its nose is somewhat less than delicate). And on Thursday July 1 you will, if you are keen enough, be able to test drive one up the hill. Alternatively, you could just stand there and look at it with your mouth agape, which is what most people tend to do the first time they see an RCZ.
4. Ford Focus RS500
It may be a tad over-powered for a front wheel drive car, and its bodywork might be somewhat too matt and black looking for all tastes, but the Focus RS500 will still be one of the festival’s true crowd pleasers. Especially as all 101 examples that will be made are now already sold out. Grab a glance at it while you can, in other words.
5. Porsche Boxster Spyder
This is a rare beast indeed, especially in the UK, but Porsche GB will be rolling out its Spyder for all who fancy a look at it on July 1. You’ll be lucky if they let you drive it, but even if they don’t this car is worth a look. It’s so close to how the original Boxster Concept was styled it makes the regular versions look curiously bland.
6. BMW M3 Competition
You know there’s a new M3 not too far round the corner when the special edition versions start appearing, and that’s certainly the case with the M3 Competition. It’s lighter, faster and, says BMW, better than ever to drive; and The Hill is the perfect place to put that theory to the test.
They say this is Alfa’s best car in decades. And the name certainly trips off the tongue. So why not book up for a test drive and find out. Ignoring Murphy’s law for a moment, what could possibly go wrong?
8. Honda CR-Z
Honda’s cute hybrid coupe, the CR-Z, will occupy centre stage on its stand – and will cut a real dash on the hill too. Those in the driver’s seat will get to find out exactly how much fun the future can be (sort of).
9. Audi RS5
Pound for pound, I reckon this is Audi’s best car right now, so if you get the chance to drive or even just passenger ride in one, take it. You will not be disappointed.
Fantastically rapid, the SLS also has the most entertaining doors of any car at Goodwood. Mind your head, though: it’s unbelievably easy to clonk it on one of those doors on the way in (or on the way out as well).