Day one got the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed got off to a great start with the UK debut of the incredible new Honda e Prototype electric car as it negotiated the legendary hill climb in its clean and efficient way, but today sees the event really ramping up the excitement. Let's face it, Friday is where the weekend really starts for most people, and it's no exception here at Goodwood.
To make sure as many visitors as possible can get as close as they can to the new EV, and get a true understanding of how this is much more than just a mode of transport with an electric motor instead of a combustion engine, eight virtual reality headsets will also be available. This cutting-edge 3D experience will allow visitors to explore the interior of the e Prototype in an immersive way without having to climb in and out of the car or having to squeeze past other attendees to get a look.
Further emphasizing Honda's commitment to electrification, visitors will enter the stand through an entrance flanked by a pair of CR-V Hybrids before embarking on their journey through Honda electrification progress from 1972 to the present day. A classic Civic from 1972 leads on to a 1999 Honda Insight, which represents the start of the electrification journey, and things are eventually brought right bang up to date with the absolute pinnacle of the brand's hybrid technology, the 2019 Honda NSX, which is also making its UK debut at Goodwood.
One thing's for sure, anyone visiting Goodwood 2019 won’t be able to miss the Honda stand, both for where it is and what it looks like. In a prime position facing the famous hill where so many new, old, classic, fast and slow vehicles strut their stuff over the weekend, the Honda "Club EV" stand serves a dual purpose. Its design pays homage to both the all-new Honda e electric car that will be going into production later this year, but also to the company's commitment to 100% of its automotive vehicle sales being models with electrified powertrains by as soon as the year 2025. The future of motoring is electrified, and Honda is keen to show visitors to this year's running of the legendary Goodwood weekend that it’s a company that can be relied upon to deliver on that future in an exciting, practical and sustainable way, with customers and the environment at the forefront of its focus.
To say the design of the stand is distinctive would be something of an understatement. While the ground floor looks reasonably conventional, and a lot like the sort of thing you'd see at a Grand Prix, the first floor is another matter entirely. Anyone who's seen the Honda e Prototype before coming to Goodwood should immediately recognise the first-floor structure as a direct representation of the front fascia of the new Honda e electric car. The shape mirrors the black "grille" of the e Prototype, although as an EV, the Honda doesn’t actually have or need a conventional grille, and two large round windows represent the cars distinctive headlight design.
Fittingly, the first floor is totally dedicated to housing and showcasing the e Prototype, as this is the first opportunity for people in the UK to get up close and personal with this incredibly important new car for the Honda brand.
The concept of the whole stand is one of practical simplicity, reflecting the ethos and philosophy of the new car. Visitors on the ground floor are greeted by displays illustrating Honda's electrification journey so far, which is the perfect introduction before they head off upstairs to familiarise themselves with the e Prototype in the Club EV lounge.
If you’re not ready to commit to going fully electric just yet, even after seeing the Honda e Prototype yesterday, while you’re at the stunning Honda stand why not check out the very latest version of the legendary Honda NSX hybrid supercar that's on display this year? The new NSX features a number of enhancements designed to make it even more exciting on the track, at the same time as being even more comfortable and easier to live with than its predecessors.
The Honda stand itself is a major attraction at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed, and it's probably fair to say you'll never have seen anything quite like it. The design of the stand takes its inspiration from the front fascia of the new Honda e, but in line with the advanced technology of the car itself, Honda is now making it possible for you to explore the stand in some detail without even being there! From anywhere in the world, virtual visitors to the website will be able to explore the stand on their computers, phones or tablets because Honda is using the Matterport System to give those who can't be here an immersive 3D experience, so they too can be a part of Honda at Goodwood 2019.
Of course, no stand worth a place at the Goodwood Festival of Speed would be complete without a healthy helping of motorsport, and naturally, the Honda stand wasn't going to let visitors down in that particular direction. The electrified theme is still present with the motorsport element, and the Mugen Shinden Hachi really is something to see. It's a battery-powered zero emissions racing motorcycle that was developed for competing in the TT Zero Class at the Isle of Man TT. Since its debut in 2012, the Shinden has notched up six wins, thirteen podium-finishes, and set no fewer than four course records. In its latest triumph, the bike completed the legendary course with an average of speed of 121.9mph.
It's not all cars and bikes though, as visitors to the stand can also see classic video games from the 1970s such as Space Invaders and Asteroids, and opposite the Insight is a Who Wants to be a Millionaire game, which was at its popularity peak in 1999, which was the year the Insight was launched.
As day 2 of the 2019 Goodwood Festival draws to a close, it's time to reflect on how far we've come from the very first days of electrification, and how Honda is at the forefront of not only the present-day challenges of electrifying our motoring, but how things are going to change even further and faster in the future. Of course, this is only the half-way point of this year's festival, and there's plenty more to see and do over the rest of the weekend. On top of all the other events going on over the next two days, there's still more to see and learn about the e Prototype, the Mugen Shinden electric bike, and we haven't even begun with Honda and the part it's continuing to play in the revolutionising of Formula 1.
Day 2 in pictures