Set to debut at the Chicago-area amusement park on May 31, Goliath will set wooden coaster records for top speed (72 mph), steepest drop (85 degrees) and longest drop (180 feet).
The first volley in the current wooden coaster war was fired in 2011 when Rocky Mountain remade the Texas Giant with a new track that gave the bumpy ride the smoothness of a steel coaster and triggered a debate over just how to define this new breed of hybrid coasters.
Ohio-based Gravity Group responded a year later with Dueling Dragon, a dueling wooden coaster at Happy Valley theme park in China that featured a unique High Five element where the tandem trains tilted inward 90 degrees, allowing riders to almost touch hands during a dramatic near-miss moment.
The fight intensified last year with the introduction of a trio of looping wooden coasters, considered for decades the holy grail of coaster fans who had their hopes dashed when Kings Island built the Son of Beast wooden terrain coaster in 2000 only to remove the vertical loop a few years later.
In addition to the debut of the triple-inversion Outlaw Run in 2013, Rocky Mountain converted the Rattler at Six Flags Fiesta Texas into the steel-wood hybrid Iron Rattler while Gravity Group turned Hades at Wisconsin's Mt. Olympus into Hades 360 -- with both rides adding barrel roll elements.
This year, in addition to Goliath's debut, Rocky Mountain will convert the 2000 Medusa wooden coaster at Six Flags Mexico into the steel-wood hybrid Medusa Steel Coaster with a trio of zero-g rolls.
The battle is only expected to grow more intense with the arrival of each successive summer.