10-year-old wins McLaren’s ‘Supercar of the Future’ design contest
While most of us work our entire lifetime to achieve anything, there are God’s chosen few to whom success seems to come naturally. You can probably count the latest winner of McLaren’s ‘Supercar of the Future’ design competition among the latter.
Not one to be shy about working with kids, McLaren Automotive has just awarded 10-year-old Londoner Alex (the child’s surname has been withheld) as overall winner of the design competition created in partnership with Blue Peter, a UK children’s show.
Aside from the futuristic look, Alex’s design, dubbed ‘Superganic 3000,’ bore sophisticated and eco-friendly cues, including the use of advanced materials that could potentially be grown on trees. This ‘inspired-by-nature’ approach is a big factor for Alex’s sketches getting selected over thousands of other entries, according to McLaren, which has its own environmentally friendly projects in the works.
“Alex’s winning design was an instant standout with all the judges,” said Rob Melville, Design Director of McLaren Automotive. “His idea of growing cars on trees is so innovative which is also so true to McLaren’s spirit. If we can grow human body parts in the lab now, then why not sustainable car parts in the future?”
“It’s clear that not only is he a gifted artist but he also has a clear vision and interest in science, how things work and what objects are made of. Those factors combine at McLaren and lead to technology and performance benefits,” Melville added.
After selecting Alex as the winner, Melville worked with the tweener to turn his ideas and sketches into a life-size clay model.
As a tribute to Alex’s winning design, McLaren and paint partner AkzoNobel named a color after him. Like all the other paints used by McLaren, the new ‘Alex Leaf Green’ paint color is water-based and customers can now choose to have their real-life McLaren personalized in the special new exterior color.
For his win, Alex also earned a VIP trip to the McLaren Production Centre in Woking, Surrey where brand ambassador Amanda McLaren welcomed him and showed him where the supercars are hand-built. He also met with Rob and his team to work on his design and scientist Ella Podmore to discuss his car’s lightweight materials.
“Meeting Rob, Ella and Amanda, seeing where the supercars are made and getting a ride in a real McLaren has been incredible,” Alex said of the encounter.
Then Alex got to experience a supercar for himself with some special laps in a 720S driven around the TopGear track by “The Stig,” a popular fictional British race car driver.
“I liked working with the designers to see my winning design come to life and being able to sit in my design virtually was incredible as was getting to experience a 720S driven by The Stig around the TopGear track,” the 10-year-old quipped.
“I’m always sketching and drawing, especially cars, so to win the prize was amazing and after this I definitely want to work on supercars and new technologies when I’m older,” he surmised.