- Stunning Audi prologue concept originally shown at the Los Angeles Auto Show makes its UK public debut in west Sussex
- All-new Audi R8, RS 3 Sportback and Q7 e-tron quattro also among the 35 highlight cars on the new-look Audi stand
- RS 3 Sportback concludes its ‘Born Restless’ campaign with a special run up the hill
- New Q7 available to drive on expanded ‘Home of quattro’ off-road course along with other ‘Q’ and allroad quattro models
- All-new R8 to feature in the Supercar Hillclimb from Friday
- Special appearances by Audi Le Mans stars Benoît Tréluyer, André Lotterer, Oliver Jarvis and R18 e-tron quattro fresh from La Sarthe
- Nick Mason to pilot the 1939 Auto Union Type D twin-supercharger
- Hannu Mikkola will once again attack the hill in the Audi Sport quattro S1 E2
Audi is heading for the hill with a fleet studded with stars from its past, present and future, and that can only mean one thing – the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed is almost upon us. Between June 25 and 28 the anticipated 200,000-plus visitors to the world famous celebration of cars and driving in the rolling Sussex countryside will be able to peruse a new-look Audi stand that not only houses the latest and greatest exponents of Vorsprung durch Technik, but is also packed with more exciting and immersive visitor attractions than ever before.
Situated in a prominent new position opposite the Formula 1 paddock, affording an even clearer view of the trackside action, the redesigned Audi stand will play host to a total of 35 highlight cars. Chief among these will arguably be the visually arresting prologue concept imagined under the direction of Audi Head of Design Marc Lichte and touching tantalisingly on the future stylistic and technological direction of A6, A7 Sportback and A8 models.
For many the star car could, however, equally be the all-new R8 with its 610PS V10 engine and 200mph-plus capability, or the latest five-cylinder, 367PS RS 3 Sportback. Both newcomers can be seen on the main stand as well as in the supercar run on the Hillclimb.
Friday visitors to the legendary estate will witness the RS 3 Sportback making light work of the hill in the final part of its Born Restless tour – http://www.audi.co.uk/new-cars/a3/rs3-sportback/born-restless.html. The actual example of the 4.3-second and 174 mph Sportback that undertook challenges everywhere from a tidal causeway to an ice hockey pitch will be unleashed for a run up the hill at maximum attack, before its 367 PS and 465NM might is physically restrained by tie-down straps on the stand. A second car will then take over for additional hill sprints over the weekend.
Also on Friday the young and hugely talented British Audi Le Mans driver Oliver Jarvis will be behind the wheel of the R8 and making the very best use of its 3.2-second 0-62mph sprint time and seemingly physics-defying quattro all-wheel-drive grip. R8 runs will continue through the weekend.
The technological marvel that is the sub-50g/km Q7 e-tron quattro hybrid is also likely to be one of the must-sees on the stand. Due to arrive on UK roads early next year, this version of the premium SUV is the second series production e-tron model following the acclaimed A3 Sportback e-tron, and features a six-cylinder diesel-electric hybrid drivetrain that can offer up to 34 miles of local emissions-free motoring and a combined range of over 870 miles.
R18 e-tron quattro fresh from Le Mans
An e-tron with six less seats but arguably even more crowd-pulling potential will also be making the journey to west Sussex fresh from its recent nail-biting tussle with Porsche in Le Mans. The number 7 R18 e-tron quattro LMP 1 sports prototype of Marcel Fassler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer will be blasting up the hill with Benoît at the helm, and the sportscar star will be making guest appearances on the stand during the weekend with three-time Le Mans winner André Lotterer.
While they mull over their personal choice of Audi star car, visitors to Goodwood who have arrived in an Audi and can present their Audi key to stand staff will be able to enjoy complimentary soft drinks in an exclusive terrace area, or take a ringside seat in a VIP trackside grandstand. Strawberries and cream will also be served on the terrace at certain points on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Access to the advanced digital ‘sideshows’ elsewhere on the stand will be open to all. Among these will be the ‘You vs quattro’ challenge which allows visitors to pit their reaction times against those of the latest quattro system – the names of top performers will be displayed on a leaderboard for all to see throughout the weekend.
Also open to all will be a competition to win a place on the new format Audi driving experience at Silverstone Circuit involving top performers in the Audi range such as the 450PS RS 5 Coupe and the 310PS TTS. Entries can be submitted via competition iPads on the stand, by contacting stand staff or by completing one of the entry forms that will be included in the thousands of giveaway bags that will be distributed during the event. For those wanting a foretaste of what they could expect for real, or not yet old enough to occupy the driving seat, a virtual off-road experience is also available to take users on a digital tour of the Silverstone programme.
In addition to the main stand, the home of quattro driving experience has also expanded considerably for 2015. This challenging off-road course with its varying terrain can be tackled by visitors in a total of 24 models including the all-new Q7, the Q5, the Q3 and allroad versions of the A4 and A6.
In keeping with Audi Tradition
The contemporary stars on the stand will also be complemented perfectly by luminaries from the rich history of Audi. Goodwood wouldn’t feel complete without a beautiful and evocative Auto Union ‘Silver Arrow’ Grand Prix car, and this year it is the turn of the 1939 Type D to be piloted up the hill by Pink Floyd drummer and regular Auto Union ‘works driver’ Nick Mason. Equipped with a 485 PS 12-cylinder, twin-supercharged motor, the single-seater was the most powerful of the pre-war Auto Union racers and can reach a top speed of over 200 mph.
Continuing the motorsport heritage theme, rally legend Hannu Mikkola will return in the ever-popular Audi Sport quattro S1 E2 for another race against the clock on the 1.16-mile course.
Audi Tradition will also wheel out two vintage NSU Bullus and Sportmax motorcycles, and the latter will be ridden up the hill by two-time motorcycle world championship runner-up Ralph Waldmann.
As in previous years, the vast majority of members of the team representing the brand at Goodwood will be employees of Audi UK who will be willingly devoting their time to meet, greet and inform the thousands of guests who are expected to stop by at one of the Audi facilities over this fascinating and atmospheric weekend.