The Festival of Speed is a truly massive event, so it’s easy to miss a gem amongst all the displays. Here are the coolest modified cars of Goodwood 2023.

For such a grand traditional location, it’s a (welcome) surprise that Goodwood and it’s annual Festival of Speed seems to be embracing increasingly rowdier cars every year. In the recent past, we’ve seen professional drifters start to get their own dedicated live action zone, and even seen invites handed out to the likes of Liberty Walk and other iconic names within the modified scene.

So, while most of the media will be focused on all the shiny new OEM stuff set to debut at Goodwood, we figured we’d put a suitably Fast Car spin on things, and bring you the tuning house underdogs that might fly under the mainstream radar. Enjoy…

Corvette drift car new livery

Photography: Bert Nutland

Axel Hildebrand’s Rotavette V2

A little while ago, we sent Matt to go and check out Axel Hildebrand’s rotary-powered Corvette drift car, and it’s fair to say he came away feeling rather impressed. And who wouldn’t?! This carbon-Kevlar bodied C6 is packing a triple-rotor Mazda 20B engine which kicks out a whopping 800hp and an unmistakable soundtrack to go along with it. Watch this video on our YouTube channel to see the Corvette in action!

Now, having initially debuted this project at a previous edition of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, it’s only right that the Sussex venue is where the public will see the Rotavette 2.0 for the first time. Sporting a fresh livery, Axel says that the car’s new look (as seen above!) completes his vision of building a Japanese-inspired American drift car.

We hope you guys like it as much as we do! Keep an eye out for Axel when he joins some of the UK’s other top drift cars on a run up the hill.

Kenwood Defender

Kenwood Land Rover Defender audio build

Off-roaders aren’t usually our thing here at Fast Car but when a high-quality audio brand like Kenwood reveals a new demo vehicle, we’re always going to sit up and take notice.

Accompanying this Defender 110XS’ brawny looks, you’ll find a whole host of Kenwood’s latest interior sound tech. The most eye-catching feature is the huge 10.1″ wireless CarPlay screen that’s been added to the center console, but everywhere you look, you find more audio goodies. It’s even been designed so that you can switch from a system that’s capable of crazy loud volumes, to one which instead prioritizes sound quality. So, however you like your music, this Defender can do it all.

Of course, back in the old days, the old trope about classic Land Rovers was that farmers loved the fact you could hose down their interiors. Now, obviously, we wouldn’t recommend doing so in any modern Defender, particularly this one given all the electric tech (and plush materials) found inside. However, Kenwood has installed fancy waterproof speakers in the rear bed, which should be able to take on the odd rain cloud or hosepipe with little fuss.

If you want to see this build in person, you can find it at Goodwood on the Car Audio Security stand 93. The folks from Kenwood will be about, showcasing all their latest wireless CarPlay tech and popular dash cams.

Liberty Walk F430

Liberty Walk Ferrari F430

As it turns out, that Defender wasn’t the only build to feature on Car Audio Security’s stand. Check out this mean Ferrari F430 – if you’re wondering why it looks a lot more aggressive than a stock one, that’s because it’s been kitted out with a widebody styling kit from the masterminds at Liberty Walk.

Milltek Sport Goodwood stand

Milltek Sport Quartet

Renowned aftermarket exhaust specialist, Milltek Sport, is in attendance at Goodwood this year. As well as launching their new exhaust for the the G87-gen BMW M2, the British company’s stand features a total of *four* demo cars.

The headline piece is the world’s first modified INEOS Grenadier. Naturally, Milltek has installed it with some upgraded pipes, in this case, a concept version of its new DPF-back system. Other mods include Urban Automotive Rock Slider Side Steps, Black Rhino 17-inch alloy wheels, and a plethora of additional Lazer lights on the grille, hood, and roof.

Find out more about the rest of the line-up here.

Electrikhana: Ken Block takes on Las Vegas in a 1400hp Audi

Hoonigan Cars: Audi S1 e-tron quattro Hoonitron

Ken Block’s final gymkhana vehicle, the ‘Hoonitron‘, will take part in the timed hillclimb, with Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen behind the wheel. The Great Dane will have to keep 1400hp under control as he navigates the tight, twisty course, but with so much performance on tap, he’s likely to be in with a shout of winning this year’s competition. So, definitely keep an eye out for that!

Tuthill Safari Porsche

Hoonigan Cars: Tuthill Safari Porsche

Another of Block’s cars, the Tuthill-built safari-spec Porsche, will be in attendance to. Richard Tuthill himself will drive it up the famous Goodwood hill alongside several other gymkhana vehicles gathered to pay tribute to the late Block.

Hoonigan Caprice Donk

Hoonigan Cars: Caprice Donk

Once a docile Chevy luxo-barge, Hoonigan has transformed this Caprice into a big-wheeled high-riding donk. However, unlike many donks that you’ll see in the States, this Caprice has been heavily modified under the hood as well. On a dyno, it kicks out about 850hp, so we imagine it’s a bit of a brute to drive!

AIM EV Sport 01

AIM EV Sport 01

We understand that you might not be too bothered about another limited-production EV, but what if we told you hat it was designed by the same bloke who gave us the tuning icon that is the Nissan GT-R R35. Yep, the one and only Shiro Nakamura is behind the creation of this JDM performance EV, and its intriguing traits extend beyond mere cultural references.

These days, we’re used to electric vehicles being heavy and anything but agile. However, the Sport 01 weighs just 1425kg – which by modern standards is pretty decent (albeit still not as light as we’d hope a true sports car to be). Plus, whereas most EVs are all-wheel drive, this little 60s-inspired coupe sends all of its 600+ horses to the rear. Sounds fun to us…

Baggsy's Nissan GT-R

Baggsy’s Monster Energy Fleet

If you know anything about the UK drifting scene, you’ll know of ‘Baggsy’ and his Monster Energy-backed drift & demonstration crew. An ever-present feature of Britain’s top modified car shows, he’ll be bringing along three of his team’s creations to Goodwood.

The monstrous R35 GT-R pictured above will be taking part in the hillclimb, while his mental 1000hp Navara-R will be part of the K&N stand. Over at the Quaife stand, meanwhile, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the PS13 Silvia drift car.

modified Audi R8

Steve Fraser’s Audi R8

Sitting pretty in carbon and purple, Steve Fraser’s modified Audi R8 can be found at the Meguiar’s stand. Complete with Air Lift suspension kit and Vossen rims, this German supercar has been turned into the ultimate stance machine, perfectly marrying form with functionality.

The R8’s internals have been lightly tinkered with too; it’s now packing a stage 1 tune from the folks over at APR.

rear of forge Motorsport Golf

Forge x Meguiar’s Modified Golfs

Joining Steve’s R8 on the Meguiar’s stand, are a pair of modified VW Golfs.

Taking inspiration from the Berg Cup, Forge Motorsport’s Mk1 sports a wild track-style aero package and vibrant livery from Joyce Design. It’s not all just show either. Under the hood there’s a mountain of mods, naturally finished off with Forge’s own intercooler and air box.

Just beside the Mk1, you can just about catch a glimpse of a Meguiar’s own gorgeous Mk2. Kitted out with a widebody kit and beautiful black & pink livery, this Mk2 is slammed to the floor.

Auto Finesse Liberty Walk S15

Auto Finesse S15 Silvia

One of the UK’s most famous builds of recent times, Auto Finesse’s Liberty Walk-kitted Nissan Silvia S15 has a brand new look! The old white, blue, and turquoise livery of old is out, and in comes this darker, meaner, black and white design complete with Rotiform branding.

Speaking of which, the S15 is wearing some brand new Rotiform rims too.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Drift Car

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N ‘Drift Spec’

Over at Hyundai’s stand, much of the attention was on the launch of the new Ioniq 5 N, however, rather than the production car, we were particularly interested in this modified version that’s been kept firmly under wraps. Referred to as the ‘drift spec’ Ioniq 5 N, very little is publicly known about the car, but it certainly looks the part! Speaking of looking the part, check out what Coga Bodykit has done to the Ioniq 5!

The much-loved RN22e concept also made a cameo appearance. Unfortunately, that rare, sporty sedan met a grizzly end in one of Goodwood’s hay stacks…

MG EX4 front

MG EX4 Concept

Another modified creation to come from within the depths of an OEM was this, the MG EX4.

Taking inspiration from the MG Metro 6R4 Group B rally car, the EX4 is a wild be-winged hot hatch, designed by MG’s London stylists to celebrate the launch of its sporty roadgoing MG4 XPower counterpart. With its massive aero, it wouldn’t be out of place at Pikes Peak