Thanks to Toyota I was lucky enough to go along to the Saturday practice day for the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The sun was shining and despite the recession, the manufacturers and organisers had pulled out all the stops to lay on a fantastic day dedicated to the world of fast cars and bikes.
If you haven’t been to the Festival of Speed before, the name tells you most of what you need to know. The event is all about power and speed so, as a regular (and self-confessed car geek), it was interesting to see a new feature in this year’s show. Dotted amongst the petrol-guzzling exotica, classics, race cars and bikes there were quite a few prototype hybrids, electric cars and even electric motorbikes.
It is very strange to see a car being driven flat out but making virtually no noise – as you can see from The Stig’s hot lap in a Tesla – but I can certainly see the appeal for everyday driving. Many manufacturers were showcasing their environmental credentials within their stands, and some even had prototype hybrids on show.
As expected the Toyota stand was taking a lead, showcasing some innovative and environmentally-sound technology with the third-generation Prius and the iQ .
Having been highly impressed with iQ when Simon took me for a drive ahead of January’s economy driving attempt, it was good to see the public were attracted to the tiny car and it seemed very well received.
It was also the first time I saw the new Prius. I must admit that, even though I would have never considered one in the past, the new one looks modern, attractive, usable – and it had a great interior. Combined with the CO2 tax benefits and high MPG, it makes for a compelling choice.
All-in-all Goodwood provided, as ever, a great day out. I’m really interested to see whether next year will bring even more electric cars and hybrids to the festival.