Goodwood Festival of Speed 2021 preview: what’s on and more

Lotus takes centre stage, while BMW and Toyota will both send their latest sports cars up the hill climb course

The Goodwood Festival of Speed has returned to the grounds of the Goodwood estate for 2021 following an entirely online show in 2020 to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year’s event is ticketed for attendees, and like the British Grand Prix later in July is part of the UK Government’s live event pilot scheme. 

The theme for this year’s Festival of Speed will be “The Maestros – Motorsport’s Great All-Rounders,” and Lotus was recently confirmed as the event’s key manufacturer.

Goodwood’s organisers have commissioned a new Central Feature sculpture for the brand, and Lotus will display its most iconic road and race cars at the festival, with everything from the 1965 Lotus Type 25 racer to the new Evija hypercar making an appearance.

  • New 2021 Toyota GR86 to make UK debut at Goodwood

Lotus has a rich history at Goodwood. The Type 25 racer has held the circuit’s period lap record since 1965, after Jim Clark posted a time of 1:20.4 minutes on his way to win the last ever Formula 1 race at the track. Jackie Stewart posted an identical time in another Type 25 at the same event.

The Duke of Richmond, owner of the Goodwood estate, said: “We are delighted that Lotus will star as the Central Feature at this year's Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard. 

“Lotus cars raced with great success at Goodwood throughout the 1950s and ‘60s, including setting the ultimate lap record in 1965, and this year’s Central Feature will serve as a fitting landmark to their past, present and future achievements. 

“The sculpture looks set to be one of the most dramatic and futuristic yet, bringing in elements of interactivity for modern audiences that align with Lotus’ future-facing attitude and outlook.”

Elsewhere, the Hillclimb event and Sunday Shootout will run as normal, as will the Michelin Supercar Paddock, allowing festival-goers to see exotic metal up close. There’ll also be a concours d’elegance event on the lawn outside Goodwood House, which displays some of the rarest (and most perfectly polished) cars in the world.

The Festival of Speed Future Lab will also return for 2021, after its first appearance at the event in 2019. The attraction is designed to give the public a glimpse into the future of transport, revealing new autonomous driving technology, flying cars, virtual reality and deep-sea submersibles.

Formula 1 fans will even be able to meet their heroes up close, at the F1 Pit Lane. The marquee will feature a line-up of some of the greatest F1 racers from the sports history, while current drivers such as Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo and former three-time world champion Jackie Stewart will all make appearances.

Goodwood Festival of Speed 2021: manufacturer displays


BMW is planning a whole weekend of action. The all-new 2 Series Coupe will make its world debut at the festival, with a no-holds barred run up the hill climb course. The 626bhp BMW M5 CS will closely follow, while the pure-electric i4 and iX will be on display up on the Electric Boulevard in the Stable Yard.


The new Lotus Emira will make its dynamic debut at Goodwood this year. When it goes on sale, it’ll replace the Elise, Exige and Evora as the brand’s only combustion-engined sports car. It’ll also be the last of its kind, as all of the company’s future planned vehicles will feature pure-electric powertrains.


The new Toyota GR86 will make its UK debut at the Festival of Speed, with a run up the hill climb course in the hands of as-yet unconfirmed racing driver. The rear-drive sports car is the successor to the GT86 and features a 232bhp 2.4-litre flat-four petrol engine, which gives it a 0–62mph time of 6.3 seconds

Will you be going to the Goodwood Festival of Speed? Let us know in the comments below…

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