Picture of four laughing children who are painting the white hood of a MINI Cooper with Crayola pencils.


What happens when you give half a dozen children crayons and let them loose on a white MINI Electric? We gave the experiment a try and gained fascinating insights into the minds of future car drivers.

When British primary schoolchildren Summer, Zachary and Marlow are grown ups, they’ll live in a world full of electric cars. Who therefore, should be better placed to predict the car of the future than the very people who will be sitting behind the wheel themselves in a few years’ time? MINI has joined forces with the world’s leading manufacturer of children’s art supplies and launched the ‘MINI Minds … with Crayola’ competition. Whether metamorphic car bodies, chameleon-like designs or giant wings – little creatives everywhere can put their future visions to paper, with the winning entry adorning a real MINI Electric as a vinyl decal. What’s more, there is a load of Crayola art materials for the winner’s school and an exclusive tour of the MINI factory in Oxford for the winner and their family.

However, there is more to this creative competition than meets the eye. For more than 100 years, Crayola has been giving children the tools they need to bring their fantasies to life. With this in mind, the competition’s other aim is to foster the little ones’ self-confidence and encourage them to express themselves in a free and self-assured manner.

Two staggered images. Left image: Girl drawing with Crayola on the rear of the MINI Cooper. Right image: Boy drawing with Crayola on the hood of the MINI Cooper.


A survey conducted as part of the project reveals how children imagine a futuristic car. The children and parents were able to give more than one answer.
Scribble of a blue car with wings. Scribble of a blue car with wings.

67 %

would equip cars with gigantic wings and move the roads into the sky for flying adventures.

Scribble of an orange car with an open umbrella on the roof.

63 %

want to see cars that can change shape and adapt to various needs.

Scribble of a car changing color from purple to pink.

51 %

imagine cars that can change colour depending on the mood of the driver.


Most of the surveyed parents put a high value on childhood creativity. Yet besides providing an environment that fires their imagination, they also let their children’s ideas rub off on them.
Scribble of a dark blue thought bubble.

80 %

look for various ways of stimulating and fostering their child’s creativity.

Scribble of an orange light bulb.

83 %

feel inspired by their child’s imagination.

Scribble of a green pencil.

78 %

keep boxes of drawings as keepsakes.

Scribble of a red rocket.

59 %

hope that their child embarks on a career in the creative industry. Two out of three respondents associate this with a happy and fulfilling working life.

And the children themselves also like to express their thoughts to their heart’s content at school. Art is the favourite subject for one in four children; one in ten children would really like to work as a designer or artist later on. Cheri Sterman, Director of Education at Crayola, is also convinced of the importance of promoting creativity in early childhood: “Creative experiences are essential for child development. Children need opportunities to apply their imagination in tangible ways. Creative experiences, more than anything else children do, provides deep connections between self and others, and builds children’s cognitive capacity.”

Two staggered images. Left image: Little boy drawing with huge Crayola on the left side of the MINI Cooper. Right image: Boy leaning over the hood of the MINI Cooper, drawing on it with Crayola.


You might assume that the youngsters only think about innovative design and don’t pay much attention to climate issues. On the contrary, many children’s minds are already occupied by the subject of sustainable mobility.
Scribble of a green leaf.

59 %

of the surveyed children worry about the environment.
Scribble of a blue world with clouds and a sun around it.

76 %

plan to get a car that helps to protect the planet.

In a few years from now, these children may possibly be driving an all-electric MINI Cooper that gets them to their destination without producing any emissions. This making it a suitable model for the cooperation with Crayola, for which Federico Izzo, Director of MINI UK & Ireland, is also grateful: “The visions and creativity of children are a boundless source of inspiration, and that’s why we’re thrilled to partner with Crayola to tap into the extraordinary imaginations of these budding designers. We can’t wait to see their ideas come to life.”

Two pictures. Top right, the child's winning drawing. In the middle, Oliver Gorrod in front of the colorfully foiled MINI Cooper.

The abundance of remarkable submissions that we have received proves that the imagination and visions of the little designers are truly limitless. Oliver Gorrod from Oxfordshire painted the MINI Electric with half a zoo and colourful flowers on it. This not only looks beautiful, but also serves a purpose: “The camouflage will help the car to blend in or stand out whenever it’s traveling or parked”, wrote the nine-year-old elementary school student. It is also important to him that the car is electric, “as they are better for the environment and the planet, animals and plants.” This idea was so convincing that Oliver was chosen as the winner of the competition. Congratulations!

Every function, every design element and every form of sustainable technology found on MINI cars started out as a mere idea. And who knows? Maybe the visions of Summer, Zachary and Marlow will feature on a future MINI model.

Close-up of the colorfully foiled MINI Cooper hood. Behind it, smiling Oliver Gorrod holding up Crayola pencils.