2012 Goodwood Moving Motor Show report
* 2012 Goodwood Moving Motor Show * Exciting new cars; chance to drive them, too * Previews Goodwood Festival of Speed...
The third Goodwood Moving Motor Show has given UK car buyers the chance to see and drive some of the most exciting new cars of 2012; including the Dacia Duster, Ford Focus ST and Volvo V40.
The one-day event forms part of the Goodwood Festival of Speed. This year 20 manufacturers attended, with many using the show to reveal new models for the first time in the UK.
As well as static cars on display, each car maker also allows the public to drive or ride in cars on a route that takes in the famous Goodwood hillclimb.
As part of the Festival of Speed, there's an emphasis on sporty cars, so it was a fitting place to launch the new Ford Focus ST. We're driving it in the UK for the first time tomorrow, so check whatcar.com for the full report.
Ford Focus ST
At the other extreme, there are plenty of eco-friendly models at the show. As well as a number of Renault Twizy models, the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid appears for the first time in the UK. It goes on sale in 2013 and will cost 42,000, including the Government's grant.
Volvo is also giving the new V40 its UK debut and providing potential customers with a chance to drive the car. Like us, they're likely to be impressed by its high-quality cabin.
The new Dacia Duster, however, is something of an anomaly among so many premium brand and high-performance models, but that didn't stop the test drives getting booked up in a flash. Showgoers seemed intrigued by its blend of SUV looks, family car practicality and budget prices. It's available to order now, with prices starting at 8995.
The 8995 Dacia Duster is attracting a lot of attention
Away from the Moving Motor Show, there are stands featuring the latest models from most of the major brands. Due to the absence of a British motor show, this is the best chance UK buyers have to get close to the latest models.
Audi has a particularly large stand here, with pride of place going to the all-new A3 and Audi RS4 Avant. There are exciting concept cars to see, too, in the shape of the Audi A3 E-Tron concept car and the Urban concept car that made its debut at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show.
Completing the trio of new premium-brand small hatchbacks that arrive this year, Mercedes has a number of new A-Class models on show, in a variety of trims that showcase the wide range of different exterior and interior options available.
Audi A3 E-Tron concept car
Mercedes is also expected to unveil the CLS Shooting Brake at the Festival of Speed. It'll be the first appearance of the lifestyle estate version of the CLS no official images have been released so far.
Jaguar has brought the XF Sportbrake to Goodwood, too. It'll be a rival for the CLS Shooting Brake, but also more practical load luggers such as the Audi A6 Avant and BMW 5 Series Touring.
The Jaguar XF Sportbrake is a rival for Merc's CLS Shooting Brake
After attracting huge attention on its debut at the 2012 Frankfurt motor show, the Bentley EXP 9 F made its UK debut here. Surrounded by the English countryside and bathed in sunshine it appeared slightly less awkward, although sources suggest that a redesign is due before it goes on sale in two years or so. The Bentley Continental GT Speed a lightly souped-up version of the Continental GT Coupe made its debut here, too.
Infiniti revealed a new version of its Emerg-E range-extender supercar at Goodwood. It's a development of the concept car that was unveiled at the 2012 Geneva motor show, with a working powertrain and few exterior changes. It'll be driven up the hill-climb by Red Bull's Mark Webber.
The Nissan Juke Nismo attracted plenty of attention thanks to its bold decal and bodykit. Nissan has confirmed a production model is due in early 2013.