At the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend, Audi will world debut the R8 Spyder V10 plus along with a host of Super sport cars and SUVs. The 29-car Audi exhibition list at Goodwood includes the new RS 5 Coupé, R8 LMS GT3 and Q8 Sport Concept, just to name a few.
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. 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.
Fresh from its curtain call at the Geneva Motor Show in March, the 476PS Q8 sport concept features a 3.0-liter 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 0-100 km/h time and a 273 km/h (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.
Back in the realms of present day high performance, the latest RS 5 Coupé will also make its presence felt at Goodwood as its new 2.9-liter V6 TFSI biturbo engine catapults it up the 1.16-mile hillclimb and its quattro drive and standard rear sport differential help it to scythe through the deceptively tricky corners. Adding to the thrills, an RS 5 DTM, which is currently top of the leader board in the DTM 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.
Aside from the hillclimb action, 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. Also taking pride of place will be the Q2 Edition no.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 program.
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 in action. Former WRC 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 e-tron quattro hybrid.