It’s that time of year again! The Goodwood Festival of Speed is scheduled to run next week, from June 23rd to June 26th. What’s Goodwood? Buckle up—it’s time for yet another brief history lesson.
In 1993, Lord March started the The Goodwood Festival of Speed on the grounds of his estate, Goodwood, in West Sussex, England. The event features a hill climb showcasing historic and modern race cars, among a number of other unique and exciting vehicle entries. This is not the event where attendees dress up in the “spirit of the age”—that’s Goodwood Revival, where pinky fingers are extended and things are quite proper.This year is special for BMW fans because if you haven’t heard, it’s the 50th anniversary of BMW M. As such, BMW will be using Goodwood for the world premiere of their first-ever production M3 Touring! A long-roof, performance estate to premiere at an English estate—what a concept! BMW will also be unveiling the new M4 CSL for the first time in the UK. Both the M3 wagon and M4 CSL will tackle the hill climb, so we’ll get to see how they handle the 1.16-mile course.
CEO of BMW M Frank van Meel said, “There can be no better place to celebrate our 50th anniversary than among our fans at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, surrounded by the iconic cars that have cemented our position in motorsport history. But we’ll also spend our time at the world-famous event looking to the future, with a selection of exciting new models from our innovative electrified line-up, and the global premiere of the eagerly-anticipated first-ever BMW M3 Touring.”
A bit more history—BMW did showcase an E46 M3 Touring Concept in 2000, but as the name suggests it was just a concept and it was never put into production. While the G81 M3 Touring may not be the first M3 wagon to be assembled by BMW, it will be the first one you can own (provided you live outside of the United States as it won’t be available here). We’ll have more details on June 23rd, the day BMW officially unveils the G81 M3 Touring at Goodwood.But wait, there’s more! This year BMW will be the “Central Feature” on display at Goodwood House. For this honor, BMW UK will contribute an example of a 1970s 3.0 CSL (E9). BMW Classic gets in on the action by providing a 1970s M1 Procar, a WTCC 3 Series E90, and the Le-Mans-winning 1999 V12 LMR. Remember the new BMW M LMDh racecar that was just announced? Yeah, that will be there too. And these won’t simply be on display, the V12 LMR will run the course on Thursday. Tune in to see a number of other unique BMWs and legendary drivers climb the hill.—Mike Bevels
[Title photo by Joseph Harding]