During the first half of 2020, when things were starting to turn from bad to worse, Rolls-Royce decided to use the extra time some people had on their hands – children included – and challenge them to do something creative. They created the Young Designer competition, asking kids aged between six and sixteen to submit their views of what a future Rolls-Royce car could look like. Needless to say, Goodwood was overwhelmed with submissions. Today was the big day, though, as the winners were finally announced.

The competition proved an instant success; so much so, the original deadline for entries was extended. Asked only to design their ‘dream Rolls-Royce of the future’, children had complete creative freedom, allowing them to develop ideas of astonishing scope, complexity and vision far beyond the realms of automotive design. Since we’re talking about children here, their immediate environments played a central part in the designs they submitted.

Therefore, plenty of cars inspired by unicorns, turtles, space travel, Egyptian symbols and bumble-bees were submitted. Many are capable of flying or traveling underwater; the designs also featured a host of clever devices and novel technologies to save labor, provide pleasure and entertainment and benefit humanity and the environment.

“The number and diversity of the entries proves once again something we’ve always believed and lived by within Bespoke Design: that Inspiration is Everywhere. As adults, we’re often too quick to stop ourselves pursuing fantastical ideas. At Rolls-Royce, we encourage clients to be bold and creative, unfettered by conventional notions of what they think a car ‘should’ be like. This competition and the ideas generated reminds us of the incredible power of the question: ‘Wouldn’t it be great if…?’” said Gavin Hartley, Head of Bespoke Design, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

The four category winners, who hail from Japan, France, China and Hungary and range in age from six to 16, will each enjoy a chauffeur-driven journey with their best friend in a Rolls-Royce to school. The designs of the winners and three additional Highly Commended entrants have all been transformed into beautiful digitally-rendered illustrations by the Rolls-Royce Design Team, using the same software and processes as they would in a ‘real’ Rolls-Royce design project.

The competition attracted more than 5,000 entries from over 80 countries. With no rules or specified judging criteria to constrain them, children were able to let their imagination run free, creating designs of extraordinary richness, creativity and diversity. Faced with a truly formidable task, the judges selected overall winning designs in four categories – Technology, Environment, Fantasy and Fun – based on the most popular themes that emerged from the 5,000-plus entries.

Three further entries that defied categorization but caught the judges’ attention were Highly Commended; the panel also selected winning entries from the various regions around the world in which Rolls-Royce Motor Cars operates. The winners go as follows: Technology – Rolls-Royce Bluebird II by Chenyang, age 13, China; Environment – Rolls-Royce Capsule by Saya, age 6, Japan; Fantasy – Rolls-Royce Turtle Car by Florian, age 16, France; Fun – Rolls-Royce Glow by Léna, age 11, Hungary. The Highly Commended designs were Rolls-Royce Bolt by Declan, age 10, United Kingdom, Rolls-Royce Prosperity by Tim, age 9, Germany and Rolls-Royce House of Esperanto by Alisa, age 6, Russia.