The Goodwood Festival of Speed 2012 kicked off Thursday with the annual Moving Motor Show. The Festival of Speed hillclimb will be the big draw during the weekend at Britain's largest auto show.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed hillclimb has become a bit of a rite for auto enthusiasts as they get to tear up the same 1.16-mile track as famed racers Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Sir Stirling Moss.
More than 180,000 visitors are expected at the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed and Moving Motor Show, and 20 manufacturers, including Ferrari, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, BMW, Audi and Toyota, are participating. At least nine new or redesigned models are expected to debut.
The most anticipated event of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, though, will likely be the debut of the 2013 McLaren MP4-12C. The new "supercar" will blaze its way up the hillclimb under the able hand of Jenson Button on Saturday before being parked in the "Goodwood Supercar Paddock" for the admiring public. The 2013 McLaren MP4-12C should certainly be a dramatic sight on the hill as the latest model has been tuned up to 616 horsepower from 593 horsepower and has had some throttle and gearing tweaks to make it faster.
The Moving Motor Show on Thursday included bumper cars from Mini (they look surprisingly like the company's production cars), displays of "wacky racers" and a monstrous jet engine from Bloodhound SSC (obviously). The Goodwood Festival of Speed is one part auto show, one part amateur racer's paradise and one part street fair whimsy, and the weekend will have a lot to offer to UK petrolheads.