Goodwood Festival of Speed car launches 2019: Ford GT Mk II, McLaren GT and more
From racing cars to luxury grand tourers, these are the big announcements from the unofficial ‘British Motor Show’
The Goodwood Festival of Speed has raced to a finish after four hectic days featuring a host of racing legends and some of the most exclusive cars in the world.
Founded in 1993, the Chichester-based event sees motorsport royalty thrashing historic machines up the Goodwood Hillclimb in front of crowds of fans.
Carmakers also use the celebration of all things motoring to unveil their latest and greatest production cars. In fact, the event has become so popular with manufacturers that it has been dubbed “the British Motor Show”.
Here are some of the best new car announcements and public debuts at this year’s festival:
Audi R8 LMS GT2
Audi is already one of the kingpins in customer racing, so it comes as little surprise that the German carmaker has committed to the upcoming GT2 series with its new R8 LMS GT2.
The new series, which is aimed at amateur racing drivers, invites carmakers to build racing cars based on road-going models but with more power - and less downforce - than today’s highly-popular GT3 machines.
Making its debut at Goodwood, the R8 LMS GT2 is powered by a 640bhp naturally-aspirated V10 engine, making it “the most powerful car” in the Audi Sport Customer Racing division’s 11-year history, says motorsport news site Sportscar365.
Prices kick off at €338,000 (£300,200), the news site says, a figure that’s significantly higher than the road-going version’s £128,295 tag. Expect deliveries to get under way in December, just in time for the 2020 GT2 season.
De Tomaso P72
It has been nearly 30 years since supercar lovers could pick up a new De Tomaso. However, the Italian carmaker, famed for its Pantera from the 1970s, has unveiled a brand new model at the Festival of Speed.
Dubbed the P72, the sleek supercar is “intended to elicit a spiritual connection to the futuristic P70 prototype race car of the 1960s”, according to PistonHeads. The P72’s sculpted design takes information from both the elegant prototype racing cars of the period and the marque’s own heritage.
It’s based on the radical Apollo Intensa Emozione, so it “wouldn’t be unreasonable” to suggest that the P72 may use the German hypercar’s 780bhp 6.3-litre naturally-aspirated V12 engine, the motoring site says.
Only 72 examples will be made, each costing around €750,000 (£670,000), says Motor1.
Ford GT Mk II
Audi wasn’t the only carmaker to announce a hardcore, track-only model at Goodwood. To mark the company’s success in top-level endurance racing, Ford will create 45 GT Mk IIs that are completely unrestricted by competition regulations.
The model is fitted with a “dual-element rear wing and massive diffuser”, along with a handful of carbon-fibre winglets at the front, helping it generate 400% more downforce than the road-going GT, says Top Gear.
It’s around 150bhp more powerful than the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning GT, too, with its 3.5-litre turbocharged V6 engine producing approximately 700bhp, the motoring site says.
Buyers will need a spare $1.2m (£960,000) to get their hands on one of the limited-edition models, a fair chunk of change given that it can’t be driven on public roads.
Lexus LC Convertible
The Lexus LC Convertible was seen in action for the first time at Goodwood, after being unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
Previewed in prototype spec with “jazzy” camouflage, the LC Convertible is all but identical to the Japanese carmaker’s LC 500 - albeit without a roof, says PistonHeads.
Although Lexus has yet to reveal the car’s engine specs, the LC 500’s 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated V8 engine or more eco-friendly 3.5-litre V6 hybrid are the likeliest choices.
Drop-top models typically carry a premium over their coupe counterparts, so expect the LC Convertible to cost a few thousand more than the LC 500, priced at £75,234.
Like the LC Convertible, the McLaren GT hit the road at the Festival of Speed following a March debut, in an online unveiling.
The GT is designed to combine the performance of McLaren’s range of supercars with the comfort and ease of use offered by the marque’s cross-continent grand tourers.
The new car is powered by the same 4.0-litre V8 twin-turbo engine found in the radical 720S supercar. At 611bhp, the GT is 99bhp down on the 720S, though most of the newcomer’s 465lb-ft of torque is available at just 3,000rpm, so it should have a “low-end shove” for getting up to speed quickly, notes Evo.
The GT is also one of the cheapest McLaren models on sale. Prices kick off from £163,000, although as WhatCar? notes, it’s “most customers at this end of the market will go far beyond that” by adding optional extras.
Mercedes-AMG has been releasing teaser images of its upcoming A45 super hatch since Christmas - but fans have finally had their patience rewarded.
The German carmaker pulled off the covers of the production-ready version of the A45 at Goodwood, before the car hits the showrooms later this year, says Autocar. It’s based on the A-Class hatchback, but swaps out the regular model’s engine for a 387bhp four-cylinder turbo motor.
Power is transmitted to all four wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox, the motoring magazine says. In range-topping A45 S guise, which ups the power output to 415bhp, the super hatch will launch a family of five from 0-62mph in just 3.9 seconds.
Prices have yet to be confirmed, but expect a figure of around £45,000, says Auto Express.