Between stringent lockdowns and one of the most challenging school years of their lives, a group of grade three students from St Francis primary school in Adelaide has found the time to design a futuristic drift car for British supercar manufacturer McLaren.
Over the past 10 weeks, the nine-year-old students researched, designed and engineered the project from sketches to an impressive two-metre-long model with the help of real McLaren designers.
The kids crowned the concept ‘Tiger Stripe’ and it’s based on the track-going McLaren Senna GTR racer, which features a 607kW 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, though the kids’ version goes slideways rather than seeking outright lap times.
Design features include a large rear wing, bonnet vents and tailfin, which were added to reduce lift and assist the supercar in its ultimate goal of becoming a tyre-shredding drift car.
Inside, a teddy bear fabric was chosen by students for the luxury and comfort befitting of a McLaren car.
Tiger Stripe was unveiled with the support of McLaren director of design Rob Melville, who provided practical input to the students’ build process from the other side of the world.
“The ‘Tiger Stripe’ project embodies the spirit of McLaren. It’s cool, fast and utilises technology to create a vehicle that is striving for technological perfection,” said Melville.
“I was very impressed with the students’ attention to detail, from the concept and research stage, to the final execution.
“Projects like this are so important because design is a tangible expression of how art and science combine to produce innovative ideas of the future.
"It was a privilege to see the hard work that the St Francis students put into designing a future McLaren.”
According to the teachers, the idea to create ‘Tiger Stripe’ spawned after the class spotted a local McLaren being driven nearby.
“Kids love cars and one day we were in the classroom and a number of students told me about a gorgeous white McLaren supercar that they had seen driving around the local area,” said St Francis school teacher Tim Dennis.
“We chose to harness this enthusiasm and created our own learning programme that saw students working in teams to research the industry, decide on key features, develop the design and then finally engineer the final complete model.
“This included outlining the drift car’s specification and even learning about aerodynamics. It has been fantastic to get McLaren Automotive’s support to help bring this to life for the students.”
According to the students, the ‘Tiger Stripe’ is a limited-edition car and will be priced at $2 million.
However, it’s unclear when order books will open.