Automotive Snippets From The Motoring Garden Party
Infiniti had plenty of visitors to their stand with the FX Vettel Edition. Designed in conjunction with their Director of Performance, Sebastian Vettel the £100,000 plus car caused plenty of interest.
Their much talked about saloon, the Q50 was also being showcased under the hot sun to potential buyers. Released later this year, the premium saloon goes up against rivals from Audi, Mercedes-Benz and fellow luxury Japanese brand, Lexus. From its cat’s eye like headlights shape to the three-dimensional grille, it has the looks to match them and starting from £27,950 it is ideally priced to compete with them.
Sebastian Vettel has been onboard to help with developing the Q50 and Sebastian Buemi, the Infiniti Red Bull Racing F1 team reserve driver has also assisted. The car also features an electronic steer-by-wire system, something Buemi is a fan of.
Sebastian Buemi told me, “Vettel tried the car in the middle of last year in Japan and as we focussed a lot, as drivers on the steering feedback. It’s all by wire so you don’t have any steering column. The wires do the job but there was a lot of work to get a good feel. Vettel did quite a lot of work in Japan and I did some laps of the Nordschleife to keep on improving it. We worked on the brakes, the suspension and the steering which was the main focus. I drove it up the hill today, it was great to drive it and see what the final product is going to look like.”
Order books are now open for the Infiniti Q50.
Bentley Speeds Up Hill
Bentley Motors are the epitome of elegance in the automotive world often associated with glamour, sophistication and Britishness. Apart from unveiling their Continental GT3 race car to the public, they also had their fastest production road car, the GT Speed and Convertible doing runs up the hill as part of the Supercar paddock.
I was lucky enough to go for a trip up the hillclimb with five times Le Mans winner and ex Formula One driver, British racer Derek Bell. In the Bentley GT Speed Convertible he drove up with remarkable ease, having driven the hill quite a few times over the years. The purple coloured car wowed the crowds as much as Derek pulled them in. A true gentleman it was a pleasure to listen to him recount stories from his career in racing.
Project 7 Makes Debut
Jaguar had brought along their Project 7 Concept Car designed by British designer, Ian McCallum. In a week where images and video of it were released to the public as it took to the hill at the iconic Shelsey Walsh hill climb in Worcestershire, it could then be seen in the flesh at Goodwood.
Towing a caravan in style
The champagne manufacturer, Veuve Cliquot had teamed up with the luxury car dealership, HR Owen for an innovative way of using a Ferrari FF. The four-wheeled-drive car was painted in silver and light orange and towing a matching caravan. Suddenly caravanning has become appealing...
American muscle at Goodwood
At Goodwood you’ll always see the odd American muscle car, and on the Bill Shepherd stand was a Mustang Pickup in beautiful condition and also for sale at £59,950. Along with their ‘Sexy Sally’ Mustang P51 plane it definitely stood out amongst the cars around it.
Surf’s Up on the Peugeot Stand
French manufacturer, Peugeot had added an interesting element to their stand at the Festival Of Speed with an area for aspiring surfers. Visitors could try their skill on the ‘Flowrider’ wave machine, ideal for cooling down in the very hot weather.
Peugeot also brought along their 208 T16 Pikes Peak car, which was driven this time by Frenchman, Gregory Guilvert. The test-driver set the fastest time of the weekend.
Toyota Bring Along Some Heritage
Apart from their ‘GT86’ bottled water, Toyota had their Le Mans car the Hybrid TS030, which finished in 2nd place in the famous race last month, along with drivers Alex Wurz and Anthony Davidson making appearances over the weekend. Another Le Mans car, the GT-One raced back in 1998 and 1999 was reunited with drivers Martin Brundle and Emanuel Collard.
Volvo Cool Everybody Down In The Snow
The Swedish manufacturer had a winter theme on their stand, with snow (fake of course) and an ice sculpture with a wooden building where you could drink coffee by the fire (fire effect on a TV of course). With free ice cones for visitors and wi-fi, they had one of the best stands.
Celebrity chef James Martin dressed in old race overalls going for a ride up the hill in an Ariel Atom 3.5.
Former Countdown whizz, Carol Vorderman making a dash across the Infiniti stand with her pilot beau in tow.
Scottish comedian Billy Connelly looking rather sunburnt as he made his way to the Moving Motor Show.
Olympic cycling Champion Chris Hoy chatting with former multiple Le Mans winner, Derek Bell about his new found racing career in the Radical SR1 Cup.
Musician Professor Green chatting with Mercedes-Benz Formula One driver, Nico Rosberg.