The all-new, 610PS Audi R8 Spyder V10 plus will be making its world public debut at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed and the stunning Q8 sport concept SUV will also be sharing the stage for its very first UK appearance ahead of the arrival of full series production versions in 2018.
These highlight cars will of course be joined on the stand, on the famous hillclimb and on the perennially popular Home of quattro off-road driving course by the latest, most exciting models from the current Audi model range. Milestones in Audi motorsport history will, in time-honoured Goodwood fashion, also be celebrated, with the spotlight this year falling on rallying and endurance racing and two of the brand’s most revered stars in those arenas.
Visitors to the main Audi Goodwood stand will be the first in the world to set eyes on the fastest, most powerful drop-top ever built by Audi. Revealed to the media only last week, the 610PS R8 V10 plus Spyder will make its Festival debut finished in Audi exclusive micrommata green, ensuring that the look of this new Audi Sport flagship will be just as impactful as its 3.3-second 0-62mph and 203mph performance potential.
First seen at the Geneva Motor Show in March, the 476PS Q8 sport concept is another unmissable highlight on the Audi stand. The luxury class SUV study features a 3.0-litre TFSI engine which is the first petrol unit to benefit from the Electrically Powered Compressor (EPC) technology that contributes substantially to the SQ7 TDI’s remarkable performance and instantaneous throttle response. Good for a 4.7-second 0-62mph time and a 170mph top speed, the Q8 sport concept also incorporates a mild hybrid system that enables it to recuperate energy during braking and use it for emission-free electric-only driving. With its help, the powerful V6 can perform as efficiently as a four-cylinder equivalent.
Back in the realms of present day high performance, the latest RS 5 Coupé will also make its presence felt at Goodwood as its all-new 2.9-litre V6 TFSI biturbo engine catapults it up Lord March’s history-steeped 1.16-mile hillclimb and its quattro drive and standard rear sport differential help it to scythe through the deceptively tricky corners. First UK deliveries of the newcomer, with its 3.9-second 0-62mph sprint capability and potential to top 174mph, begin next month.
Adding to the thrills, an RS 5 DTM – which is currently top of the leader board in the German Touring Car series following Rene Rast’s recent Hungaroring victory – will be joined ‘on the hill’ by a road-going R8 Coupé V10 plus and an R8 LMS GT3 racer, with the latter being driven by Nurburgring 24-hour winner Connor De Phillippi, who secured the fourth victory for Audi at the notorious Eifel endurance race.
The main Audi stand offers the opportunity to get up close and personal with a total of 29 stars of the Audi range, including the full Audi Sport RS and R8 line-up now bolstered by the new 400PS RS 3 Sportback and Saloon models that are due to arrive in the UK later this year. Also taking pride of place will be the Q2 Edition #1 – an exclusive topflight model in the brand’s smallest SUV range, finished in Quantum grey and featuring an unrivalled specification. The brand’s two leading lights in electric mobility – the Audi A3 e-tron and Q7 e-tron plug-in hybrids – will be on display as well, while the recently introduced R8 LMS GT4 and RS 3 LMS competition cars will be standard bearers for the brand’s flourishing customer racing programme.
Rally fans will witness a defining moment in the history of Audi Sport at this year’s Festival of Speed when, for the first time ever, the Group S rally prototype will be driven on UK soil. A full 30 years after it would have competed in the Group S championship – but was mothballed due to the FIA’s subsequent class ban – former World Rally Champion and Audi Sport legend Hannu Mikkola will pilot the mid-engine one-off up the hill in an unmissable spectacle.
Audi Tradition’s line-up this year is topped off with a special dedication to nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, who holds the record for the most victories at the world-famous endurance race. Kristensen will get behind the wheel of the R8 driven to victory in the famous 1-2-3 Audi finish of 2000 by him and teammates Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro. Other Le Mans-winning Audi cars present in the paddock for the duration of the festival will be the 2004 Audi Sport Japan Team Goh R8, the 2008 R10 TDI and the 2013 R18 hybrid.
At the top of the Goodwood Estate, the ‘Home of quattro’ driving experience is once again open on all days to give visitors a demonstration of the full capabilities of quattro all-wheel drive in the Q3, new Q5 and Q7 models.