Swedish grad wins Royal Automobile Club design prize

Pontus Merkel has won the Royal Automobile Club and Royal College of Art Anglo-American Emeritus Design competition, where students were tasked with reimagining a veteran car.

The competition, part of London Motoring Week, saw Swedish student Pontus triumph over 14 of his colleagues on the Royal College of Art’s vehicle design programme. The students were tasked with creating a futuristic eco-friendly version of one of the cars taking part in this year’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, imagining the vehicle to be making the return Brighton to London run in 2025.

Pontus Merkel alongside a sketch for his winning entry.
Pontus Merkel alongside a sketch for his winning entry.

”This is my first trophy and to receive it from the Royal Automobile Club is quite an honour,” said Pontus. “This gives me a great deal of confidence; I am humbled and thankful for this award.”

The presentation event was attended by representatives from Jaguar Land Rover, Ford Motor Company, Mercedes-Benz, McLaren and Sebastian Conran.

According to the Royal Automobile Club, entrants were encouraged to develop their own concepts, drawing from the history of car design, while also identifying potential new design methodologies. While the project included research into future materials, equipment and markets, the primary focus had to be users and their needs.  

“This latest award and exhibition emphasises the essential link between the young designers of today and the cars of tomorrow,” said Peter Read, chairman of the Royal Automobile Club Motoring Committee.

“The skills and genius of these students will be essential to achieve the developments in motor vehicle technology necessary for a sustainable future. We are grateful for the industry support.”