Rather incredibly, in MotorMartin’s opinion, no fewer than nine brand new Audi models will make their UK public debuts at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, collectively covering an intoxicating spectrum of speed, performance, trendsetting technology and masterly design. Incredible, and shows the confidence that Audi rightfully have in their products. Audi have confirmed to MotorMartin that the latest proponents of Vorsprung durch Technik will include the Q2 compact SUV charting new territory for Audi, the beautifully brawny new S5 Coupé, the ground-breaking new SQ7 TDI and the searing 400PS, sub-five-second TT RS Coupé. For the Motorsport and classic car fans amongst us there’s been even more good news as these rising stars will mingle with Audi masterstrokes of the past, including the Auto Union Type C Grand Prix car, the S1 quattro E2 Group B competition car and the Audi V8 DTM, which will be piloted by Pink Floyd legend Nick Mason, rally legend David Llewellin and circuit racing star Frank Biela respectively.
In keeping with the Festival of Speed’s tradition of annual themes, which this year focuses on ‘full throttle – the endless pursuit of power’, the most potent products in the Audi Sport stable, of which there are a few, will naturally take centre stage.
Audi have confirmed to MotorMartin that fans can witness the five-cylinder, 400PS TT RS Coupe, the 197mph R8 V10 Spyder and the limited edition R8 selection 24h in the metal, while other high-performance newcomers include the 435PS, 900Nm SQ7 TDI – the first ever series production car to feature an electrically powered compressor – and the 354PS S5 Coupé, which takes to the stand less than a month after its world premiere. Amazing and a massive well done to Audi for appreciating the significance of the Goodwood Festival of Speed’s standing in the British motoring calendar.
Also representing the other quattro-driven members of the Audi family attending Goodwood are the all-new Q2 and the Q7 e-tron which are both very interesting to MotorMartin, especially as Audi enters a new segment with the Q2, which combines the very latest technology with a bold new design and compact footprint yet also retains all of the practicality associated with the Q range of SUVs. The Q7 e-tron is the brand’s second plug-in hybrid vehicle, offering up to 34 miles of battery-powered driving and a total range of over 820 miles. Both will sit alongside the Audi A4 allroad quattro, an even more rugged variant of the 2016 What Car? Car of the Year that takes cross-country capability to new levels.
Rounding out the nine UK debuts is the new Audi A3 range, which can be ordered now in three-door, five-door Sportback, Saloon or Cabriolet form from UK Audi Centres. The class-leading latest model further develops a series of best-selling qualities that Audi has consistently honed in the A3 over the course of 20 years and takes on board a host of new technology from the classes above. Has the A3 really been with us for that long, it doesn’t quite seem possible.
Goodwood have shared with MotorMartin that visitors can take in these models in detail on the stunning Audi stand located right by the track, and a separate exclusive VIP viewing area complete with refreshments is accessible for all Audi owners who show their key fob – a long-standing tradition of the brand with the four rings at Goodwood.
Also customary for Audi is a celebration of its milestone moments from yesteryear, and marking two separate anniversaries will be Audi Tradition with an extraordinary line-up that consists of a ferocious 16-cylinder Grand Prix winner, an all-conquering rally car and a DTM legend.
Pink Floyd drummer and car enthusiast Nick Mason will be taking the wheel of the Auto Union Type C – the most successful model of the Auto Union Silver Arrows before the Second World War. In 1936, the 560-hp six-cylinder developed by Ferdinand Porsche won the European Grand Prix Championship. Ever since then, the Type C has been inseparably associated with the name of Bernd Rosemeyer. The leading driver was almost unbeatable in that racing season.
Ensuring that the full force of the five-cylinders under the bonnet of the legendary Audi Sport quattro S1 E2 are unleashed before the crowd will be David Llewellin, who helped to propel the Group A rallye quattro cars to national acclaim in the Eighties.
More famous faces are to include the five-time Le Mans champion Frank Biela who will also drive the 1990 Audi V8 quattro DTM over the weekend. This 462PS-strong racing car was Audi’s debut vehicle at the German Touring Car Masters (DTM) in 1990 where it won the title upon its first attempt.
Goodwood attendees can look forward to an additional attraction this year: Mattias Ekström’s rallycross team will be competing in the motorsport event. As Ekström will be on the DTM grid at the Norisring that weekend, British EKS driver Andrew Jordan will be at the wheel of the 560PS Audi S1 EKS RX quattro in the tradition-steeped race.
Audi then are certainly going to be causing quite a stir at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed and well done to them. MotorMartin is extremely impressed with the respect that Audi are showing their UK fans with their hard work and dedication.
Where will you go?