There is no ‘official’ British motor show these days but the Goodwood Festival of Speed has pretty much adopted the position.
Away from the big shows, there’s no better place in Europe to see new metal, and nowhere else you can see cars in motion as you can in the South Downs every summer.
The timing, incidentally, makes it the ‘right’ time of year for a British show too: falling pretty much equally between the Geneva show and before the Paris/Frankfurt date. These days, we can’t afford to miss it as a news opportunity.
It was good, then, to spend a bit of time around the new Ariel Atom 4 and the people who engineered it over the Goodwood weekend. While the 4 is immediately recognisable as an Atom, see a picture of Atom 3.5 and Atom 4 together and it’s striking how dated the 3.5 suddenly looks. I think that’s partly the new, bigger wheels and tyres, and certainly the bigger frame diameter.
There’s a greater muscularity to it. Ariel has a habit of getting things right. With the Atom, Nomad and, perhaps to a lesser degree, its Ace motorcycle, it hits on niches and fills them deftly, avoiding taking on multinationals and the big players head-to-head while it’s at it.