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Rolls-Royce challenges young designers to create a luxury car of the future

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Rolls-Royce Motor Cars may have 114 years of rich heritage, but the British company has experienced an imaginative refresh from aspiring visionaries in the Young Designer Competition.

Tasked with the challenge of creating their dream Rolls-Royce of the future, more than 5,000 youngsters from across 80 countries submitted their visions for the luxury car brand.

The Young Designer Competition was established for creatives aged 16 and under as a welcome distraction for those living under COVID-19 self-isolation and social distancing restrictions during the global health crisis.

Launched in April 2020, housebound participants submitted their unique illustrations depicting an innovative range of bespoke features conjured up from their wild imaginations.

"It’s inspiring us as a design team to see things differently and challenge our own notions of what’s possible." – Gavin Hartley

The competition aimed to stimulate design talent and inspire greatness with young artists encouraged to draw on their own creativity and invent their own super-luxury car.

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Crocodile vehicles, futuristic flying cars inspired by vertical take-off planes, a transformer car crafted from diamonds, a kaleidoscope-styled car equipped to drive on rainbows, a bouncing vehicle complete with five layers of fairy floss and sugary treats, an animal-influenced automotive featuring a silk-woven cobweb steering wheel and a metal elephant structured car inspired by the discovery of a mammoth carcass are among the shortlisted illustrations. All of the unique creations showcase the diverse and ingenious visions Rolls-Royce had hoped to inspire.

"We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the international response to our Young Designer Competition," Gavin Hartley, Head of Bespoke Design, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, reflected. "And it’s not just the number of entries that has impressed us – the quality of the children’s designs is staggering, showing incredible imagination, creativity and flair.

"We wanted to give the children the chance to let their imagination flow freely – it’s clearly struck a chord. They’ve responded magnificently and given us an extremely difficult task in selecting our shortlist and winner."

The Young Designer Competition proved to be so popular Rolls-Royce was forced to extend the mid-May deadline by two weeks so entries closed on 2 June 2020.

"It’s reminded us of the sheer power of the human imagination, and challenges us to bring that sense of scale, possibility and greatness to making our customers’ dreams a reality." – Gavin Hartley

The collection of shortlisted designs are currently being displayed in a special online gallery for the entire world to observe while the marque’s designers undertake the difficult task of judging the entries. The talented winners will be announced mid-July.

The global winner will receive a once-in-a-lifetime, money-can’t-buy prize – the opportunity to have their hand-sketched design transformed into a digitally rendered illustration by Rolls-Royce. To top it off, the talented visionary will be chauffeur-driven in a Rolls-Royce Phantom for their first day back at school with their best friend.

In addition, there will be one UK winner, who will receive a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce experience once the nation’s coronavirus restrictions end. A new Greenpower electric car kit will also be donated to the recipient’s school. And for the runners-up, they will receive a hand-signed certificate from CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös himself.

"Some of the ideas are truly extraordinary and have really got us thinking; it’s inspiring us as a design team to see things differently and challenge our own notions of what’s possible," Gavin explained. "It’s reminded us of the sheer power of the human imagination, and challenges us to bring that sense of scale, possibility and greatness to making our customers’ dreams a reality.

"We’re really looking forward to the judging process, but it’s going to be a huge challenge to pick our winners."

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