Yang Liu a talented young car designer from China has won the Royal College of Art vehicle design competition. In a collaboration with the Club, RCA Vehicle Design students were asked to design a sustainable, connected and potentially driverless vehicle for an imagined Brighton to London return Run in 2026. This ‘Continental Connection’ project encouraged students to take inspiration from the pioneering vehicles on the Run and the modern and future cars showcased at Regent Street Motor Show on Saturday 5 November.
The winner was announced at a special presentation on Monday 31 October at the Pall Mall clubhouse, by the RCA’s Visiting Carmen Tutor, Clive Birch. Club Secretary Miles Wade welcomed the guests, which included alumni now working at Jaguar Land Rover, Ford Motor Company, Mercedes-Benz and McLaren. He said ‘the Club has a close association with the Royal College of Art Vehicle Design faculty, having run exhibitions of students’ work in the past. The event is not just a competition for the students – it also provided an excellent opportunity to showcase their design abilities to some of the largest automotive manufacturers and design directors both nationally and internationally’.
The exhibition, which kicked of the Club’s London Motor Week, showcased 12 design concepts created by the first-year students. Earlier in the day, the students presented their designs to a panel of judges, consisting of Clive Birch, Veteran Car Run Steering Group member Daniel Ward, RCA Vehicle Design Senior Tutor Matteo Conti and the Club’s Motoring Manager Guy Nicholls.
Winner Yang Liu had previously studied Transportation Design at Northumbria University and graduated in 2010. Speaking of his design Yang Liu said ‘the Benz Velo was the first small car and had elegance behind its design, as well as being simple, light and inexpensive. It met the desire for personal transport in a simple way. My design uses the fewest components, to keep it as simple as possible. Simple to produce, run, operate and above all, to enjoy’. Yang was delighted to win the competition commenting ‘I see this award as another step closer to my dream career. I want to become a great designer, to design the future of our mobility, and how people travel’.
Overall winner: Yang Liu – ‘Pure’ inspired by the Benz Velo
Highly Commended (Automark studio): Chan Sik Park – 2026 Mercedes Simplex
Highly Commended (Inside Out studio): Qian Meng – Benz Spider 2026
Highly Commended (Urban Flow studio): Zi Lin – Darracq 2026
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