I’ve always fancied taking a trip to one of the many festivals that happen annually at the Goodwood Estate, so when Alcantara recently go in touch and invited me along to the Festival of Speed I accepted with pleasure. Alcantara, if you’re wondering is the luxury material that features in the interiors of many cars and household products (It’s even on the cover of my Surface Book). You might very well have it in your current car and not even realise.
Being my first trip to Goodwood I was taken aback at the sheer scale of the estate. Even getting to the correct entrance is an absolute mission in itself but once you get inside it’s cars as far as the eye can see. Basically if Disney did a theme park for cars it would probably look a lot like this. The world’s leading car brands show off their ranges in impressive stands that sit side by side vying for the attention of the passing crowd. Alcantara us on a curated tour to see their material in use in a number of car brands starting off at Alfa Romeo, where Scott Kruger (their head of design) shared some interesting insights into car design.
I actually had a black Alcantara interior fitted in my old Seat Ibiza so I was pretty clued up on it already but wandering Goodwood really opened my eyes to the extent of its use. As we wandered the estate we saw it used in such a variety of cars from the beautifully refined Bentleys to the very eye-catching toffee coloured interior of the Lexus LC 500 (my personal favourite). It made me realise just how luxurious and well-regarded Alcantara actually is, but when a material is as tactile as this one I guess it’s a natural fit for the luxury market.
After lunch, we headed over to the track area and were given the opportunity to do a lap of the famous Goodwood track in an Abarth Spider (decked out in Alcantara of course). My instructor could tell I was nervous so gave me a few pointers then I was off round past the grandstands and up the hillclimb to the finish. At the end my nerves had turned to adrenaline and I wanted to go again but I’d have to save that for another day, maybe next year…
This post has been sponsored by Alcantara although as always all words and thoughts are my own.