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6 cars you can’t miss at the 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed

This year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed is bigger and better than ever, with crowds flocking to the motorsport mecca in numbers we’ve never seen before, and the six cars below are responsible.

Art in Motion

Head over to the Lanzante stand at the Festival of Speed this weekend, and not only will you see some utterly gorgeous McLaren P1 HDKs in some fantastic specs, but you’ll also see perhaps the best art car of the decade: the 930 TAG Turbo ‘SJ87’. Graced with the artistic genius of ex-Formula One driver Stefan Johansson, this 911 isn’t just a stunning work of art, it’s also the shell for an utterly spectacular engine. Under that whale tail you’ll find the very engine from Stefan’s McLaren MP4/3 race car, which he drove at the 1987 Austrian Grand Prix. 

The design takes its colour palette from Stefan’s iconic helmet design, inspired by his father’s nickname for him as a child, ‘Little Leaf’. This isn’t just some wrap either; each streak of colour was hand painted onto the car by the man himself. We were present for the car’s unveiling, which was the first time Stefan saw the car for himself, and it’s safe to say we were all blown away.

Virtual Insanity

The McLaren Solus GT is literally something straight out of a video game. We’re not kidding: it started life as a virtual hypercar in Gran Turismo, but we guarantee it’s even more impressive in reality. Just 25 of these single-seat spaceships for the road will ever be built, and each of them is powered by a monstrous 5.2-litre Judd V10 pushing out well over 800bhp and revving to a stratospheric 10,000 rpm. That’s right, finally a McLaren with something other than a turbocharged V8! It sounds like an old Grand Prix car and it looks like a UAP, so what’s not to love?

Widebody Wonder

Every year, Singer seems to knock it out the park with a new creation, and 2023 was no different with the California-based restomodding wizards unveiling Singer's mighty DLS Turbo project. Inspired by the legendary Porsche 934/5 race cars, the DLS Turbo boasts 700-plus horsepower, a 9000 rpm redline, and a wing large enough to give any passing Airbus A380s performance anxiety. While renders are always impressive, seeing the DLS Turbo’s gargantuan hips and side intakes in person left us totally awe struck, especially in this Blood Orange launch spec. 

Another seriously cool feature of the DLS Turbo is the ability to swap out the front bumper and wing for a less-aggressive, more road-appropriate specification. We say less aggressive, but in any configuration, the DLS Turbo is about as mean as any car with number plates can be. 

Catering to the Masses

We say “Caterham”, you say “Seven!” At least that’s how it always used to go, because it feels like Caterham has been producing the loveable Lotus-based sports car for as long as I’ve been able to walk (they actually have). However, 2023 marks the dawn of a new era for the plucky British sports car marque, because they’ve teamed up with designer extraordinaire Anthony Jannarelly to produce their first totally new car ever, dubbed Project V. It’s an EV, but we promise this isn’t like those other 1500+ horsepower milk floats. Project V bucks the horsepower trend with just 268bhp, meaning you should be able to put your foot down without being launched into either space or jail. The even more exciting news is that Caterham are targeting a weight of just 1,190kg, or about the same as an Alpine A110. Now that’s how you do an EV sports car!

Back to the Future

Not to be outdone, Porsche had a retro-inspired concept of their own at the 2023 Festival of Speed, the ultra-cool Vision 357 Speedster concept. Powered by the engine and battery pack of the Mission R, combined with the running gear of the 718 Cayman GT4 ePerformance, this 1000 horsepower roofless electric rocket isn’t just a stunning piece of design, it’s absurdly rapid too. If you want to see this radical concept for yourself, head to the Porsche Village at the top of the hill, and if you want to learn more about the Vision 357 Speedster, you can read all about it right here

Resurrecting the Devil

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard all about Eccentrica’s BorromeodeSilva-designed Diablo restomod, and we made a beeline to their stand at Goodwood to check it out in the carbon. There were plenty of Lamborghinis present this weekend, but none hold a flickering candle in the wind to this sharpened raging bull. Featuring an all-carbon fibre body, plenty of sumptuous design flourishes to soak up, and a reinvigorated drivetrain, Eccentrica’s creation is every bit the poster car that the raging bulls of old were. All we can think about now is driving the thing, and savouring each open-gated gearshift. Fancy handing us the keys, guys?

Photos by Mikey Snelgar