Goodwood Festival of Speed 2022 – Tim’s Top 5

Goodwood Festival of Speed 2022 – Tim’s Top 5

Incredibly tired legs? Check

Clothes that smell of petrol and rubber? Check

Sunburn? Check.

Yep, that’s another successful Goodwood Festival of Speed done for the year. If you don’t know what the FoS is, you must have been living under a rock for the last decade, because what was once a fairly niche car event on the lawn of some rich guy in Sussex has in recent years turned into not just the biggest automotive event in the UK, but globally. This is all at once a motorsport event with cars doing timed runs up a tricky, tight hill climb, a chance to meet and get up close and personal with iconic personalities and cars, and the best British Motor Show since the 80’s heyday at the NEC, all done over 4 days with over 200,000 people attending.

This year, much like 2021 there has been more of a focus on EV’s and more sustainable motoring, but if that doesn’t float your boat worry not – there are still more than enough cars burning rubber up the hill, with V8’s, V10’s and V12’s screaming at the top of their rev ranges burning enough fuel to open a new hole in the ozone layer directly above Chichester. There really is something for everyone at the FoS. As there’s so much to see it makes it very hard to try and choose just five best bits, but try I must. So here are the things that impressed me most about the Festival of Speed 2022…

Singer Turbo Study

Some people don’t ‘get’ the Singer 911, but I can only imagine that those people have never seen one up close. Sure, there are other companies who shamelessly copy the Singer aesthetic and cost a fraction of the price, but when you see one up close, notice the fact that every single panel gap is exactly 2mm, how everything is perfect, every detail and bit of styling is just right, you start to understand the cost. They’re borne out of passion and dedication from the Singer team to create the absolute best 911 you could possibly make.
The classic 70’s styled Singer models are now no longer available to order though, so Singer are moving on to new things. The DLS (Dynamic Lightweight Study) is effectively their GT3, with a track-focused build and a suitably bonkers price tag. But for their ‘regular’ model they’ve turned their attention from the 70’s to the 80’s, with the Turbo Study.
Still based on an early 90’s 964-generation 911, the Turbo Study (much like previous models) throws away the entire body bar the doors and replaces it with a wider carbon fibre body, then everything is reworked to Singer’s exacting standards, with carbon used everywhere for lightness and the same attention to detail that makes car geeks feel all funny in the trouser department. The whale tail is there, as are the Fuchs-style wheels, but everything is tweaked and massaged to make it perfect. My favourite detail has to be the iconic black wheel arch protection shark-fin sticker from the 80’s turbo, which has been re-worked into the intake for the turbocharged engine. Super-cool detail. Price? Don’t ask, but likely heading towards seven figures.

BMW 50 years of M/// and the M3 Touring

Every year the FoS has a celebratory theme, last year it was Lotus, this year it was 50 years of BMW’s M division (if you want to read more on this you can head over to my article right here) and as always there was a gravity-defying artistic sculpture on the lawn in front of Goodwood House with a selection of actual, real historic BMWs mounted on an incredible structure as an artistic statement. Mighty impressive. As they were the title theme, there was a huge BMW focus, with three separate stands, lots of classic and current BMWs going up the hill and a new car reveal that had everyone talking. On their main stand, there was the new M4 CSL, but honestly, that had hardly anyone looking at it because next to it sat the M3 Touring…
To say that the M3 Touring has been hotly anticipated would be putting it lightly. The M3 has always been one of, if not the best sports coupe/saloon on sale and yet Audi and Mercedes have had the fast medium-sized estate market to themselves with the RS4 Avant and C63S Estate – until now. BMW has finally given us what we’ve been asking for, with the estate version of the G80 M3. The spec and look aren’t really anything surprising, it shares the front end to the end of the front doors with the M3 saloon, along with its bulbous rear arches, but that is blended with the taller, longer roof of the Touring body and boy does it look good.
I’d go as far as to say that I think it’s better looking than the M3 saloon and M4 coupe. The proportions are just right, but unfortunately, there’s still the slightly awkward interaction between the rear door and the wider wheel arch (done because they were originally going to have bespoke rear doors before the accountants stepped in, and had to make do for production) but I could live with it. In the UK the M3 Touring will only be available in xDrive Competition spec, which means 503bhp, 650Nm, all-wheel drive and using the 8spd auto gearbox. This is a family estate car with some serious performance – 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds. The M3 Touring starts at £83,470 and orders open in September.

McMurty Speirling

It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it? McMurtry Speirling. Sounds like the people you get to sort the conveyancing when buying a house. But anyway, McMurtry might have an odd name, but they’ve created a truly ground-breaking car – which is now record-breaking too as it took the title for the fastest car ever up the Goodwood hill climb with a staggering 39.08 second time – beating the VW ID R by 0.8 seconds.

The Sperling is a tiny thing – and an EV. But the size is one of the key reasons it could go so quickly, as the Goodwood hill climb is incredibly thin and tight in places so many cars have to slow down, whereas the skinny McMurtry driven by Max Chilton didn’t have to. This was also helped by the car’s truly insane downforce – 2000kg of it, at a standstill. That’s because it uses two fans to literally suck it to the ground, which explains why it can do 0-62mph in under 1.5 seconds too, along with all the power and torque of electric motors.

I’ve seen many fast cars go up the Goodwood hill, from VW’s ID R to Formula 1 cars, and nothing looked even remotely as quick as the Speirling. Videos of the run look like they’re being played at 1.5x speed, while the only sound is the high-pitched whine of the motors and the rushing air sound from the fans. It may have little relevance to the real world, but as a technological showpiece, it’s absolutely staggering.

Ford Supervan 4

If you’ve been a fan of Fords for many years, you’ll know all about the Supervans. It’s a uniquely British thing, we love our vans in this country and there’s nothing more exciting than a silly, powerful one. It started off in 1971 with a Mark 1 Transit body stuck on top of the chassis and 400hp V8 from the GT40. The body had lots of modifications to fit, including wider arches, but it was a wild thing to see, tearing around at up to 150mph. Then in 1984 came Supervan 2 – a fibreglass replica Mk2 Transit body placed on a Group C race car with a 590bhp 3.9 litre Cosworth V8. This car was effectively rebodied in 1994 for the Supervan 3, with a 7/8ths scale fibreglass Mk3 Transit body put on top and the engine tuned to 650bhp.

But now it’s 2022 and after a long break, Ford has revealed the insane Supervan 4 – the most custom and powerful Supervan yet. Built to promote the new Ford Pro division and the e-Transit, Supervan 4 is a fully custom-built electric van with four motors (making it AWD) that produce over 2000bhp. Yes, you read the correctly – over two thousand horsepower, in a van.

Not that it’s a van in any traditional sense, because Ford has gone to town on the aerodynamics of Supervan 4. It looks like a concept car, with a chopped roof, wide arches, massive wheels, a huge gaping front end and a massive spoiler on the rear, but that isn’t the most impressive part. You see, just behind the side doors, the upper bodywork cuts in on each side, tapering to a point. This effectively turns the c-pillars into spoilers along with the roof panel and gives the Supervan enormous levels of downforce. It’s a truly bonkers machine and totally irrelevant in the real world, but it serves to promote the electric Transit which is going to be a very important van for Ford.

Cartier Lawn Madness

The Cartier Style et Luxe is a display of cars at the side of Goodwood House, where there are no barriers, no security guards, just a collection of cars parked on the grass for festival-goers to walk up to and look at. Totally open too, not a ‘special area’ of which there are a few at FoS, which makes it all the more crazy when you see the cars on the lawn this year and in years past.

The McLaren F1 is one of the most special, and expensive cars in the world – road cars in closed sales sell for around £20 million now. But there, on the Cartier lawn, sat six of them – four road cars and two race cars. Well over £100 million of cars, with Joe Public able to just wander up and lick them (though I did get told off for that). There were other cars too, from a selection of special Ferrari models (288 GTO, F40, F50, Enzo, LaFerrari) to some glorious 1930’s ultra-deluxe specials. Quite simply, there’s nowhere else you get to be so close to such rare and special machinery.