The annual Goodwood Festival of Speed is like no other event on the automotive calendar. Held on the grounds of the Goodwood estate in West Sussex, England, it’s part car show, part hill climb. Everything from vintage race cars to the latest Formula One machines and production models turn up every year to run the course, giving fans an up-close look at some of the fastest cars in the world doing what they were meant to do.
Aston Martin Vantage GT12 Roadster
The Aston Martin Vantage GT12 is a more hardcore version of the V12 Vantage, and it’s only available as a coupe. But when one well-heeled customer asked for a convertible version, Aston put its Q personalization division to work to make that happen.
The result is this one-off Vantage GT12 Roadster. It has the same aggressive styling and performance tuning as the GT12 coupe, but with the added bonus of top-down driving. Under the hood is a modified version of Aston’s ubiquitous 6.0-liter V12 engine that produces 592 horsepower, and breathes through a titanium exhaust system. It should sound amazing with the top down.
Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato
The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato debuted as a concept last month at the 2016 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, but at Goodwood Aston announced that it would build a limited number of production models. Just 99 cars will be made. This sleek coupe is the latest collaboration between Aston and Italian coachbuilder Zagato, whose relationship dates back to the DB4 GT Zagato of 1960.
Like that car, the Vanquish Zagato features more evocative styling than a standard production Aston. The Zagato also boasts a tuned version of Aston’s 6.0-liter V12, producing 592 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque, just like in the Vantage GT12 Roadster that was also unveiled at Goodwood. Aston says the Vanquish Zagato will do 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds.
Lamborghini Aventador Miura Homage
The Miura Homage is a special version of Lamborghini’s current mid-engine V12 supercar that honors its first mid-engine V12 supercar. Its two-tone paint scheme recalls the Lamborghini Miura, which debuted 50 years ago and set the template for today’s Aventador. Each of the 50 cars Lambo plans to build will also get a commemorative plaque displaying their serial numbers.
The changes are all cosmetic, but it’s not like the Aventador needed a performance upgrade. The 6.5-liter V12 engine produces 700 hp and 508 lb-ft of torque, which is sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission. That means the Miura Homage should match the stock Aventador’s 0 to 60 mph time of 2.9 seconds, and top speed of 217 mph.
McLaren 570S Sprint
The McLaren 570S Sprint is a track-only variant of McLaren’s “entry-level” Sport Series. It isn’t road legal, but it doesn’t conform to the rules of any race series either. It was built purely for owners to have fun with.
The Sprint retains the stock 570S suspension and 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8, but adds motor sport hardware like center-locking cast magnesium wheels, Pirelli racing slicks, a full roll cage, and racing seat with six-point harness. A new front bumper, dive planes, and fixed rear spoiler create more downforce, while giving the 570S Sprint a more aggressive look. For those who want to race their cars rather than just drive around for fun, McLaren can also upgrade the 570S Sprint to FIA GT4 standards.
McLaren P1 LM
As if the McLaren P1 wasn’t extreme enough, a company called Lanzante took the P1 GTR track version and modified it to be street legal. Lanzante will only build five production models of this beast, which it calls the P1 LM, plus the prototype unveiled at Goodwood.
The P1 LM has the 986-hp version of the P1 plug-in hybrid powertrain as the GTR track car, but the 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 was retuned to run on 99-octane pump gas. Lanzante also made some adjustments to the car’s aerodynamic aids, added an Inconel exhaust system, and fitted different wheels and tires. While the results of Lanzante’s work can be enjoyed on public roads (in the U.K. at least), drivers will still need a track to discover its true potential.
Mercedes-AMG GT R
The Mercedes-AMG GT R is the long-awaited high-performance version of the AMG GT. It’s built for track driving, something the swollen fenders and big rear spoiler attest to. Beneath the flashy bodywork, there are some clever features like active aerodynamics and a rear-wheel steering system.
Mercedes in-house tuner AMG also fortified the 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine, which is shared with other AMG GT models. In the GT R, it produces 577 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, which is sent to the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic transaxle. The GT R will do 0 to 62 mph in 3.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 198 mph, according to Mercedes. But you’ll have to wait until mid 2017, when Mercedes plans to put the car on sale, to experience that for yourself.
Mexico’s Vuhl (pronounced “Vool”) is back with an even more potent track car. Based on the existing 05 model, the 05RR isn’t much more than an engine with some seats attached. That engine is a 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder like the kind used in the Ford Mustang, producing 385 hp.
Because the 05RR is so light (it weighs just 1,410 pounds dry), the EcoBoost engine can get it to 62 mph from a standstill in just 2.7 seconds, putting the tiny 05RR in the same ballpark as the quickest supercars. An aerospace-inspired aluminum honeycomb chassis with carbon fiber body panels and wheels helps keep weight down, as does a lack of luxuries. You don’t even get a windshield.
That makes Goodwood a great place for manufacturers to unveil new cars. Those cars tend to be a bit more exotic than what you’ll see at the typical auto show, and they always prioritize performance. Here are some of the highlights from the 2016 Goodwood Festival.