Vroom, vroom…oh the joy of a day at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. For those of you who do not have petrolhead amongst their pastimes, suffice to say that it does what it says on the tin.
Coming, as I do from a background obsessed with speed – my paternal grandpa was an aeronautical engineer of some fame, who built my father go-karts in his spare time, and my maternal grandpa rode point to point races – it’s hardly surprising that I like moving exceptionally quickly.
Fortunately my father lives for motors too, and so when Volvo invited me down to Day One of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Moving Motor Show, to test drive their new hybrid – the VolvoV60 Plugin Hybrid to give it its full name, we were in, quicker than a sweep of a chequered flag.
It’s a clever idea, this Moving Motor Show. Essentially most of the major car manufacturers and marques have a bay within a giant hangar, built over a road, (above) and every minute a car drives out the hangar and onto the Goodwood hill course.
Approved members of the public are driven – or in my case – can drive to test out cars, whilst spectators can watch from all the different vantage points around the course.
Within minutes of our arrival at Volvo mission control, I was buckling up and stroking the leather seats of the V60 Plugin Hybrid (inspired by a Swedish waterfall no less), one of only six prototypes in existence. Ian, the brave pro driver, took shotgun, and my father gamely went in back.
And we were off! Unfortunately no zooming as there was a long line of cars all inching forward towards the start gate.
As I was waved onto the track, I hit the gas pedal hard – my father has taught me to make a very quick start – and then I really was zooming. So much so that I had to be gently reminded that it was limited to 60MPH because of its prototype status. I completely failed to take in that I was actually driving past the grandstands, Goodwood House and all the spectators.
Yes: I was enjoying myself so much that I failed to notice any of this:
Several people suggested on Twitter that as I was in a Hybrid it would have a drive experience equivalent to a pedal-operated Singer sewing machine. I can hand-on-heart say that it exceeded my expectations. This was my first time driving any type of Hybrid, and considering the last time I was on a track I was in the SLS AMG, I was really surprised at how good the drive actually was. It switches modes effortlessly, holds the road well, and makes for a very pleasurable outing.
After I was prised out of the V60 – really I would have liked to have gone around again as towards the end I got stuck behind a slow driver clearly not appreciating the Goodwood track enough, who rather killed my speed-y buzz – Pops & I wandered off to buy ice creams
and stroke some more metal at the exhibitor stands on the other side of the track.
There was this at the Jaguar stand – the shortlived ZJ220, which practically had to have testosterone-filled drool wiped off it every ten minutes or so.
and continuing our auto-gravitation to anything Jag-ish, a rather splendidly shiny fixed head XK140:
and a luscious XK120
My day was absolutely cherry on icing on cake topped by getting to explore this Royal Navy Sea King, and talk to its Engineer about his tours in Afghanistan. (It had flown in the day before as part of the Aviation exhibition.)
LLG was at Goodwood Festival of Speed as part of a collaboration between the Volvo Switch to Pure campaign, supporting the V60 Plugin Hybrid, and LibertyLondonGirl.com