The British Motor Show Isn’t Dead—It’s Simply Been Reincarnated As Part Of The Goodwood Festival Of Speed
If you’re mourning the decline of the traditional motor show, take heart that it’s not actually dead—it’s simply moved to a more interesting format. While the British International Motor Show faded out over a decade ago, and even Geneva, Paris, Frankfurt, Detroit and others are shadows of their former selves, the Goodwood Festival of Speed last month featured 22 new vehicle launches launched by 21 brands. Additionally a further 26 recently-launched cars made their first dynamic appearances at Goodwood.
Compare this with our favourite of the traditional European shows, Geneva: this year there were 20 new models launched by 17 brands plus 22 concept cars from established and emerging automotive houses.
The Festival of Speed opened on Thursday morning with the Duke of Richmond driving Land Rover’s prototype Defender up the Hill, and the next four days saw new models from hand-made British sports cars such as BAC Mono and Radical through to global volume players including Audi and Lexus.
“At Goodwood, you can see it, sniff it, touch it and watch it go up the Hill,” said Mark Featherstone, Goodwood’s sponsorship director. “Our aim is to deliver a family-friendly festival vibe, with action-packed activities and themed areas that provide a backdrop to world class cars and motorsports.”
Among other world firsts at Goodwood was the unveiling of the all-new De Tomaso P72. “It was a really easy decision for us to choose Goodwood for the reveal of the P72,” said Ryan Berris, general manager for De Tomaso. “We first came to Goodwood for an event at the circuit, and then came to the Festival of Speed and we were blown away.”
Volkswagen also made headlines when it smashed the 20-year-old record for the fastest-ever climb of the Goodwood Hill, beating Nick Heidfeld’s record in a McLaren-Mercedes Formula 1 car with its all-electric ID.R.
Goodwood says more than 200,000 visitors attended the 2019 Festival of Speed.
Images courtesy of Goodwood