Highlights of the 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed

This years event hosted new models from Lotus, BMW, Toyota, Rimac, Ferrai, Aston, McLaren, Bugatti and... well your usual Goodwood stuff!

And it’s a wrap at the Festival of Speed. Goodwood Festival was back for its 2021 edition on the familiar grounds of Goodwood House, West Sussex, England, after 2020’s online event (no thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic). This year’s theme was “The Maestros – Motorsport’s Great All-Rounders,” and guess who’s the event’s key manufacturer! Lotus, which usually takes thirty years to roll out a new model, was featured as the event’s key manufacturer following the announcement of its new sports car, the Emira.

Other attendees, including Pagani, Ferrai, Mclaren and more, also participated in the Hillclimb event and the Sunday Shootout. The supercar paddock also allowed festival-goers to witness exotic cars up close after a hefty long period of lockdowns and shutdowns. And it is not just fast cars that made the headlines, automotive celebs like Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo and Jackie Stewart also made appearances during the 2021 event.

There was also a Concours d’Elegance event on the lawn outside Goodwood House, which displayed some of the rarest cars in the world. The Festival of Speed Future Lab, which made its first appearance at the event in 2019, also returned for 2021, giving the public a glimpse into the future of transport, revealing new autonomous driving technology, flying cars, virtual reality and even deep-sea submersibles.

The Duke of Richmond, owner of the Goodwood estate, said: “Lotus cars raced with great success at Goodwood throughout the fifties and sixties, including setting the ultimate lap record in 1965, and this year’s Central Feature served as a fitting landmark to its past, present and future achievements.”

Overall the 2021 Goodwood FOS was a grand event and here are some of the special car appearances of the event –


The Norfolk headquartered British automaker revealed its latest and also its last-ever petrol-powered sports car at the Goodwood 2021. The Emira powered by the supercharged V6 engine and manual gearbox looked gorgeous in that blue paint.

It is a replacement for the Elise, Exige and Evora as the brand’s only combustion-engine sports car. This is Lotus’ swansong of internal combustion engines, as all of the company’s future planned vehicles will feature pure-electric powertrains. The British automaker also showcased its 2,0000bhp Evija EV hypercar that will arrive later this year.


Another blue mercenary at the event was the Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Omologata. Quite a mouthfull! Inspired by Lambo’s racing Huracan, it weighs 43kg less than the Huracan Performante (thanks to some extra carbon fiber) and makes over fifty per cent more downforce than its predecessor.


However, Lambo also showcased their latest fighter jet, disguised as the Essenza. It is powered by the most maniacal 12-cylinder engine ever dreamt up by Sant’Agata – rocking around 820bhp, packed into a sick-looking chassis that can apparently create 1,200 kgs of downforce at around 155mph. What the F…errari was THAT?

Scuderia Ferrari

The Italian racing company chose Goodwood to show off its latest SF90 Spider hyper car and well, what better place to debut the 986BHP hybrid V8 drop-top than to run up the famous hill? If that was not enough, the new Roma, F8 Tributo, 812 GTS and recently-launched Portfino M were all in attendance.


The new 2 Series Coupe made its world debut at the festival with a no-holds barred run up the hill climb course. The 626bhp BMW M5 CS followed, while the pure-electric i4 and iX were on display too. I’d say the 2-series seems to be BMW’s real deal after people have been complaining that the GR Supra was basically a BMW Z4. I’d say this little super-toy is a charming looking thing with enough performance for anyone to have a really good time on the track… being RWD or AWD only. Thank goodness for no FWD!


The 1,160bhp Valkyrie hyper car appeared at this year’s Festival of Speed with – you guessed it – a run up of the Goodwood hill climb. It was followed by the new Vantage F1 Edition and the DBX SUV, while the DB11 and DBS Volante are both parked up in the Supercar Paddock. Aston Martin also showcased a spaceship look-a-like, 1000bhp V12 powered prototype during the event.


The 911 GT3 is capable of 9,000rpm fury in a dignified-looking package with a six-speed manual or a seven-speed PDK gearbox made its appearance at the Festival of Speed. The new Nürburgring SUV lap record holder, Porsche Cayenne Coupe Turbo GT with a 630bhp V8 power unit and a two-ton paint job was also present alongside.


If the first thing that comes to your mind with the name McLaren is a fast paced Lando Norris across Austria, you’re not alone. And McLaren adds more to their track glory with the 720S GT3X which is neither road legal, nor eligible for racing. It was showcased at the event though. Through racebreds at MCL.

The GT3X uses the same aero package as a 720S GT3, but its engine is unrestricted, so it’s allowed to develop the 720 horses its name suggests. It’s also 200kg lighter than a 720S road car, and did a 45-sec run up the hill in the hands of racing driver Rob Bell, making it the official Goodwood speed champ of 2021. McLaren has also showed its plug-in hybrid 671bhp Artura in a slick blue paint (Blue was definitely the dominant color at this year’s Goodwood event).

Volvo Polestar

The EV maker revealed a new one-off prototype version of the Polestar 2 electric car with 469bhp, a chassis makeover, bigger brakes, tuned suspension, carbon fibre strut bars and a racing stripe. It went up the Goodwood hillclimb in the hands of Joakim Rydholm, Polestar’s chief chassis engineer.

Ford Motor Company

Ford – The maker of F150 Lightning showed off its all-electric future at Goodwood with a line-up of road, competition and concept cars. The Mustang Mach-E GT, the top version of the new EV, appeared at the event this year, and was joined by the Team Fordzilla P1, a car designed by video game fans, and the Mustang Mach-E 1400 seen at last year’s online event.

Alfa Romeo

The brand celebrated its 110th anniversary last year – and the occasion was marked by the launch of the Giulia GTA and GTAm. Both cars are powered by a 533bhp 2.9-litre V6 and they made their official UK debuts at Goodwood with a charge up the hill climb course.


It’s 202mph MC20 sports car debuted at Goodwood this year too. The 622bhp machine was driven by Maserati’s very own test driver, Andrea Bertolini, who made his name in GT racing. The new Ghibli Trofeo was also on display in the festival’s First Glance Paddock.


The VW owned company’s Goodwood debut was its Electric Pacesetter that was created as a safety car for Formula E. Featuring a wild look inherited from the latest John Cooper Works GP, the extreme battery-powered hatch concept is tipped to preview a real JCW based on MINI Electric that will be lighter and get more power.

Kia Motors

With deliveries still months away, this year’s Festival of Speed gave UK buyers their first glimpse of the striking Kia EV6. Set to shatter any preconceptions of the Korean brand, the EV6 blends sporty styling with incredible performance if you opt for the 577bhp dual motor version that launches it from 0-62mph in just 3.5 seconds.


The all-new Hyundai Ioniq 5 made its dynamic debut at Goodwood this year. The second-gen EV had already made quite the impression – it’s one of the best electric cars on sale right now – but it won over show-goers over with its distinctive looks, great tech and relaxing drive.


The newcomer made its debut this year at Goodwood and, to ensure it made a decent first impression, it brought along its G70 Shooting Brake to make the case that estates are cool again.

That’s all folks! With a mix of IC and Electic appreance the event was a grand success and showcased the promising future of automotive industry. We are now looking forward to the 2022 event (if corona virus spare us).

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Himanshu Harsh

My love for automobiles is what fuels my writing. You can catch me twisting synth knobs when I'm not drooling over cars.

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