Super-expensive car designs like the Rolls-Royces and Bentleys of the world have stayed neutral and nearly unchanged for decades. The legacy is the whole thing with those cars. But when a bunch of kids start drawing their dream Rolls-Royce designs, we actually get to see something interesting for once.
Rolls-Royce in April announced a design competition for kids 16 and younger trapped at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the automaker’s entire design team looking over every submission to pick the winners. The winner in the UK was offered a chauffeured ride to school in a Rolls when the time is appropriate, and they’re invited to bring a friend.
My favourite by far (sorry kids, favourites exist) is the speed-record gunning Rolls-Royce Bluebird II, with four engines mounted on top of water skis, designed to go really really fast across various surfaces. According to the designer, 13-year-old Chenyang from China, the skis can be used over snow or water and can also retract for spherical wheels to be lowered for road use.
It looks like something out of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, which in a vacuum from the original movies has some of the best science-fiction world-building and ship design of anything I’ve ever seen. So seeing that aesthetic play out on a Rolls-Royce makes the kid in me very happy.
Similar in functionality, 16-year-old Forian from France submitted a Rolls-Royce inspired by sea and land turtles with a pilot’s cockpit and a rear “shell” area for passengers or cargo. According to the original sketch, the Turtle Car would be capable of going on land, sea and in the air.
Then there’s 6-year-old Saya from Japan, who clearly hasn’t grasped that Rolls-Royce is a company that makes products for people who hoard the wealth earned from others’ labour for their own selfish gains and desires while actively withholding valuable resources from society. Saya’s design, the Capsule (above and at the top of this post) is aimed at helping people — a Rolls-Royce filtration vehicle that sucks up viruses and pollution from the air and filters and stores it in the see-through cab.
The Bolt is a very cool intergalactic space travel vehicle that looks like an ’80s Rolls-Royce cast in a Speed Racer movie, and I’m fully onboard with more cars coming with giant lightning bolt graphics.
I love the radiator grille treatment on the Glow concept from 11-year-old Lena, from Hungary, who wanted to express the ultimate creative vision for the brand with a lot of rainbow lights.
Six-year-old Alisa from Russia submitted the House of Esperanto, a magical Rolls-Royce capable of communicating with every creature on Earth thanks to a “mysterious bird that has been living in outer space for a million years.” The Rolls designers translated that into something that looks like The Rocketeer’s… never mind.
Finally we get to 9-year-old Tim’s iconic design from Germany, dubbed the Prosperity, which I think nails exactly what the future of Rolls-Royce will most likely look like: a giant land yacht with zero consideration for space or others that requires seemingly zero driving and features a pool and a helicopter.
The kids are alright. The future is secure. I can’t wait for a magical bird to let me talk to my cat while piloting our Bluebird II off of the Mediterranean Sea and straight into the Alps.