Festival of Motoring 2022: Still an electric experience
It was a refreshing experience to see the return of the Festival of Motoring again. The past few years have squashed this side of our industry, as much as we would have loved to see the festival in full swing during Covid. The fact is that Joburg is starting to return to normal in a way, meaning we can finally enjoy experiences like the motoring festival again. However, this year was different and possibly less thrilling for hardcore petrolheads.
If you haven't attended the Festival of Motoring at Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, then firstly, you are missing out. In a way, the festival is similar to that of an amusement park. You find the cars you want to experience and stand in a queue until you reach the front of the line. Then hop into the car and enjoy the ride. The only difference is that this ride is faster, louder and more thrilling than even the craziest ride at a theme park. Oh, and then there's the endless number of indemnity forms you'll need to sign...
If exciting rides and going fast aren't really your thing and you prefer the slower and more 'relaxed' rides then you could have experienced the 4x4 park. Here, the latest off-road vehicles, like the Jeep Gladiator, slowly show off their unbelievable ability to tilt at impressive angles without tipping over. See, theme park...
In the past, we've seen the latest performance cars shown off to the public in a diverse, loud and chaotic manner. In 2019, we saw the launch of the Toyota Supra, the Lexus RC-F and Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, along with performance displays for major brands such as Volkswagen and Audi. This provided the public with a massive variety of performance vehicles which they could experience on the race track.
This year, however, there was a huge lack of exciting vehicles to ride in. Fortunately, Mercedes-AMG did bring along their AMG line to show off, but besides Mercedes, the other option was Alfa Romeo. They provided one Giulia QV and one Stelvio QV, which are impressive vehicles but only provided 45 rides a day per vehicle. Bearing in mind the number of attendees was around 60,000 people over the weekend.
Mercedes took patrons out in their near full line-up of AMG cars, but once again the rides were limited as they were swapping their all-new electric cars in after the first session of the day. The Mercedes EQC and EQA are good cars, but they're not as exciting as the AMG V8 rockets, as some festival attendees could attest. Apparently, not everyone's hot laps in the EVs were exactly hot.
It was impressive seeing Stellantis bring out most of its brands: Jeep, Alfa Romeo, Peugeot, Abarth/Fiat, Opel, and Citroen. The brand showed off all of its latest and greatest products like the new Jeep Grand Cherokee and Opel Mokka. Yes, they weren't the most exciting rides, but they never fail to leave their passengers smiling. Chery too, showed up in force, providing Tiggos for shuttle transport, and they even had a few out on the track.
Suzuki, though, got the public talking, providing a non-stop Suzuki Swift Sport track experience and shocking the public with just how lively the little Swift can be. The drivers wielding the Swift Sports subjected their passengers to a real racing experience, by really throwing the little car around the track.
The Festival of Motoring, although a little less exciting than previous years, was a great success. The public was finally able to relive their passion for motoring after a hiatus spanning several years. The Festival of Motoring provides the enthusiast with the perfect day out and well, I was certainly happy that we can, once again, celebrate motoring on such a grand scale.