Australian primary students design ‘future’ McLaren drift car!


Well, yes! You heard it right.

Third-grade students at St Francis Primary School in Adelaide, have produced a ‘future’ McLaren drift car. They received support from the designer of its real-life counterpart as part of a project to highlight the importance of science, maths and design skills.

Over the past 10 weeks, the nine-year-old students researched, designed and engineered the project from sketches to an impressive model, learning valuable processes and skills along the way.

Can’t believe that yet?
Well, we can’t either.

Named “Tiger Stripe”, the 2-metre concept car is based on the track-focussed McLaren Senna GTR and is designed to be a drift car of the future.

In celebration of the project, the drift car was unveiled this Friday with a special video message from Rob Melville, Design Director at McLaren Automotive. After hearing about the project, Rob recorded a special video message for students to answer their top questions on automotive design.

“Great design tells a great story. 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. 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.”

Robert Melville, Design Director, McLaren Automotive

“It is great to see the enthusiasm and excitement these students have for McLaren. This is a brilliant project and I’m sure this had been a memorable experience for them. We constantly innovate to find new ways to develop our products at McLaren, because nothing new comes from old ways of thinking. May this project inspire a next generation of engineers and designers.”  

George Biggs, Managing Director of Asia Pacific and China, McLaren Automotive

The programme, which was developed by the school’s early to middle primary classroom teachers, Tim Dennis and Mark Bowman, occurred in response to the student’s delight in 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. 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. Being able to show them Rob’s film was inspiring and showed how much passion he and the whole team at McLaren have for what they do.” 

Tim Dennis, teacher at St Francis School School, Lockleys, Adelaide

A spoiler, bonnet vents, aerodynamic roof shape and tailfin were added to “Tiger Stripe” to reduce lift and assist the supercar in becoming the ultimate drifting machine. Students have also added orange wheels which look like fire as the car drives and a stripe which gives “Tiger Stripe” its name and, according to the students, “a cooler” pedigree. The interior was also improved upon by students with a teddy bear fabric utilised for comfort.

According to the students, their limited-edition drift car will be priced at $2 million dollars Australian.

Isn’t it just really cool?










Yashvi Poonia
She grew up playing all the car games, and now nothing excites her more than taking a new car for a spin. From travel experiences through long drives to detailed analysis of the best of the wheels in the market, she has no stopping when it comes to the love of cars. She balances the role of a marketeer and writes about things she is passionate about - lifestyle, watches, and well, cars, of course!

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