Rolls-Royce has unveiled what may be the future of motor transport – a car based on a bumblebee and powered by honey.
The prestigious British car manufacturer brought to life a series of the best futuristic concepts.
This included the outlandish bee car which features wings and was designed by an 11-year-old schoolgirl.
More than 5,000 designs and blueprints were submitted by children across 80 countries as part of a competition during lockdown.
It was devised to provide a creative outlet for children aged 16 and under confined by Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
The firm’s design team at Goodwood, West Sussex, then used the same software they would for a real Rolls-Royce project to digitally enhance the drawings.
The UK winner of the Young Designer Competition was 11-year-old Sofia with her Rolls-Royce Bumblebee 5000 which the CEO of Rolls Royce described as ‘quite extraordinary’.
A delighted Sofia said: ‘The Bumblebee 5000 is the very best way to travel and to have parties in with your family and friends.
‘Moving smoothly, it will take you wherever you want to go with style and having fun.
‘With comfortable tables and chairs, a disco ball, the best surround sound system, WiFi, GPS, a hook for luggage and much more, it makes it the best option on the automobile market.
‘You will never see anything else like it.’
CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Torsten Müller-Ötvös agreed, saying: ‘The entries that stood out for us were those that showed a real depth of thought, effort and expression, and incorporated lots of different details.
‘The best didn’t just draw “the nicest car”: they created amazing experiences that showed the freedom of their imagination, not hindered by physical, real-world constraints. The winning entry is quite extraordinary.’
Head of Bespoke Design Gavin Hartley added: ‘We were particularly drawn to Bumblebee 5000 because it’s all about sociability, having fun, sharing good times and having the finer things in life, which is exactly what Rolls-Royce is all about.
‘It also reflected our own interest as a company in the natural world and bees in particular.
‘We have our own resident colony of 250,000 English honey bees at Goodwood, who diligently produce the “Rolls-Royce Of Honey” for us every year.’
Sofia’s school is to have an electric car kit installed, enabling them to participate in future Greenpower motorsport events.
She also won a chauffeur-driven ride to school in a Rolls-Royce with her best friend.
There were no rules or specified judging criteria to constrain entrants and children could let their imagination run free, creating designs of richness, creativity and diversity.
The original deadline for entries was extended after the competition proved an instant success.
There were four other category winners in technology, environment, fantasy and fun with winners from across the world and ranging in age from six to 16.
The technology winner was Chenyang, 13 from China, who designed the Rolls-Royce Bluebird II while the environment category was won by six-year-old Saya from Japan for the Rolls-Royce Capsule design.
The Turtle Car by Florian, 16 from France, which can transport passengers by land, sea and air won the fantasy category and Léna, 11 from Hungary, won the fun category for the Rolls-Royce Glow.
Three entries came highly commended, including Bolt which was designed by Declan, aged 10 from the United Kingdom.
The other two highly commended entries were nine-year-old Tim from Germany for Prosperity and six-year-old Alisa from Russia for House of Esperanto.
Mr Müller-Ötvös said: ‘On behalf of myself and everyone at Rolls-Royce, I would like to thank every single Young Designer who entered the competition, and for all the thought, hard work and creativity that went into their designs.
‘There is some amazing talent out there, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of our entrants went on to work as car designers one day – perhaps even at Rolls-Royce.
‘The most important thing I’ve learned from this competition is that whatever our circumstances, we have the power to create amazing things, because our imagination is always free to fly.
‘I hope the children who took part will recognise this, too, and that it will be something positive they can take from their pandemic experience.’