How do you get kids excited about cars? By letting them design their own real ones.

Car companies have had to get more creative in recent years. While owning a car may have been the status symbol of ultimate coolness a decade or so ago, now many young people regard cars as at best a necessary evil, and at worst a pollutant to be avoided at all costs.

Toyota tried its hand at enticing the youth market by turning literally every single part of the car into a cute girl mascot, but Korean manufacturer Hyundai is trying a different approach: asking kids to draw what their ideal car looks like, and then making them real.

Hyundai collected over 7,300 entries from children in Korea which they narrowed down to 15 to actually build into drivable models. They continued to work closely with the kids throughout the entire design and construction process, to ensure that the final product matched their dream.

They then showed off the results at the Brilliant Kids Motorshow, which you can view here: (highlights below)

▼ There’s the Fishmobile Coupe,
which looks like it drove right out of a Dr. Seuss book.


▼ The Big Wheeler, which would probably require a complete
change in how roads work, but hey! Worth it.


▼ And Catch a Star, which is cute and all, but not something
I would want to see driving behind me at night.


▼ And these weren’t just tiny clay models or anything, they were real,
life-sized drivable cars that the kid designers showed off at the expo.


▼ Well Hyundai, I think you got at least one customer for life.


Personally, if I were a kid, something like that would make me fall in love with Hyundai for sure. Heck, even as a grizzled, jaded grown man who has been through the harrowing experience of car ownership, seeing these kids’ creations makes me giggle and remember when I thought cars were cool and not bottomless money pits.

Best of all, the final designs are all extremely faithful to the original drawings. You can see the before and after versions of the cars at Hyundai’s website, and the engineers did a spot-on job. I expected there to be lots of changes and compromises, but the final models really do look like what popped out of the kids’ imaginations.

Are these cars the way of the future? Probably not, but they’re great for getting kids excited about future possibilities.

Besides, the Simpsons have already shown us what happens when a car manufacturer actually creates and sells a car designed by non-professionals.

▼ Definitely a better idea to just stick to fun models instead.

Source: Hyundai via Design Taxi
Images: YouTube/junghwan kim