It was a celebration of high-performance from the brand’s past right through to the very cutting-edge present at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.

19 July, 2023

From the halcyon days of World Rally dominance to the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the current Dakar campaign, Audi showed up to this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed with some very impressive automotive hardware. Always a standout event on the world automotive calendar, one of the great strengths of the Goodwood festival is its eclectic mix of vehicles and vintages, and 2023 didn’t disappoint.

Although poor weather dogged the event this year, the often wet conditions proved perfect to showcase the likes of the RS Q e-tron as well as some of the brand’s earlier rally campaigners. 

Developed specifically for the brand’s ongoing Dakar campaign, the RS Q e-tron (MKII) was perfectly at home on the Goodwood track in the rain – a world away from the desert conditions it was built to take on in the Dakar Rally. 

With its combination of electric drive system drawing off its petrol charge unit straight from DTM, the RS Q e-tron represented the perfect illustration of existing and emerging technologies working in tandem, its extraordinary manoeuvrability and acceleration thrilling the crowd.

Likewise making full use of its quattro system, the one-of-a-kind Audi S1 e-tron Hoonitron developed especially by Audi for the late Ken Block also made an appearance at this year’s event. In the very capable hands of nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, the all-electric Hoonitron, which is a modern take on the Audi Sport S1 Pikes Peak, represents the cutting-edge of all-electric vehicle propulsion. Its inclusion at the Festival of Speed was a fitting tribute to Block, who was tragically killed at the start of the year.

As this year marks the 100th anniversary of ‘Le Mans’ Audi Sport also brought three of its winners from the world’s greatest endurance race to the UK along with the champion drivers who drive the cars to victory. The Audi R8 from 2000, the R10 TDI from 2007 and the R18 e-tron quattro from 2012 – driven by Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Benoît Tréluyer. 

Greats from the brand’s World Rally Championship days also raced up the famous Goodwood hill this year, with the Audi Rallye quattro (Group 4) from 1980 and the Audi 200 quattro ‘Safari’ from 1987 at the festival – and another rally great, Stig Blomqvist also made a driving appearance behind the wheel of the Audi 200 quattro.