- Kiddie supercar present from Rolls-Royce
- Real badge on real car for young patients
- Idea is to let kiddy patients drive to their operation
LONDON, England – Rolls-Royce cars has unveiled a new and extremely compact concept of luxury, just one, and created for one very special customer.
That’s the St Richard’s Hospital Paediatric Day Surgery Unit in the automaker’s home town of Chichester in the county of West Sussex in southern England..
The Rolls-Royce SRH (for the hospital) will enable children awaiting surgery to drive themselves to the operating theatre along hospital corridors which are lined with ‘traffic signs’. The experience, it is hoped, will make the children less apprehensive about the journey.
The two test drivers for the day, in March 2017, were Molly Matthews and Hari Rajyaguru who viewed the car while it was unveiled in style at the company’s Goodwood Studio – just as any other genuine VIP buyer would receive their new car.
TWO ‘TEST DRIVERS’
This event included the final validation and pre-delivery inspection of the Rolls-Royce SRH ahead of the official handover to the patients, their families and the devoted day surgery team at St Richard’s.
In true Rolls-Royce style the two children and their families enjoyed VIP hospitality with one notable addition to the usual customer experience. Molly and Hari each enjoyed first drives on the Rolls-Royce production line, an exceptionally rare privilege usually reserved for the brand’s Chief Executive during the validation process for new model ranges and most recently for the forthcoming Phantom 8.
Molly, Hari and their families were eventually returned home in chauffeured Rolls-Royce Ghosts.
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO, told The Corner in a media release: “We are a proud member of the community here in West Sussex. The Paediatric Unit at St Richard’s does such vital work in providing essential care to young people and their families
“We hope the SRH will to make the youngsters’ treatment a little less stressful.”
The SRH kiddicar, built by Rolls’ Bespoke Manufacturing team with “a restless desire to understand customers’ requirements in every aspect of the design”, was specified with a two-tone white/blue finish and a hand-applied ‘St James Red’ coachline.
ADJUSTABLE TOP SPEED – BUT 16KM/H TOPS
The cabin is said to have the same finesse and attention-to-detail applied to every Rolls-Royce with two-tone steering wheel, seats and self-righting wheels colour-matched to the coachline. The car’s top speed of 16km/h is powered by a 24V gel battery “with the same whisper-quietness as Rolls-Royce’s magnificent V12 engines”.
Top speed can be adjusted to suit the age and health of its driver to a maximum of six km/h.
The build team devoted more than 400 hours of their own time to creating the baby Roller with the help of 3D printing – including the Spirit of Ecstasy mascot and the paddle controls.
Project leader Lawrie Mewse said at the ‘launch’: “I’m immensely proud of what the team has achieved. This project showcases the amazing skills and technology that exist in the Bespoke Manufacturing team and across every area at the Home of Rolls Royce but the most important thing was giving back to the local community and having a positive effect on children and their parents during their time in hospital.”
Marianne Griffiths, chief executive of Western Sussex Hospitals’ National Health Service Foundation Trust, said: “Just like the joy it will bring to our young patients, the SRH is simply priceless – a very special gift and one of the most wonderful donations yet received by Love Your Hospital, our trust’s dedicated charity.
“Thanks to Rolls-Royce are heartfelt, especially to the small team who gave so much of their own time.”
‘CHILDREN WILL LOVE DRIVING IT’
Paediatric matron Sue Nicholls added: “It’s wonderful seeing a smiley face on the way to theatre rather than an apprehensive one.
“We know boys and girls alike will love driving it and in future years it will help to turn a daunting experience into something far more fun and enjoyable for hundreds of children.”