Not everyone knows this, but Rolls-Royce built an all-electric race car, putting it to the test on the slippery and treacherous tarmac of the Goodwood Motor Circuit. Dubbed the “March 2 Glory,” the EV was designed and created (with a little help from Rolls-Royce) by a team of aspiring nine- through 11-year-old engineers and designers from The March Church of England Primary School, which is located only a few hundred feet from the Rolls-Royce headquarters on the western edge of the Goodwood Estate.

Competing in the Green Power IET Formula Goblin racing series, the M2G managed to build on success attained last year, wherein the previous March Team also partnered with Rolls to gain experience in the fundamentals of manufacturing, engineering and teamwork.

This year’s car is even better than the last, exhibiting every detail of a true Rolls performance vehicle, from the exterior styling to the premium interior. The young engineers and designers who helped create it drew inspiration from England’s racing past and Rolls-Royce’s line of bespoke street vehicles. The result, as you can plainly see, looks ready to tackle even the trickiest stretch of pavement.

Continue reading for the full story.

  • 2015 Rolls Royce March 2 Glory
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • 0-60 time:
    10 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Rolls Royce March 2 Glory Exterior Drawings
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2015 Rolls Royce March 2 Glory Exterior Drawings Wallpaper quality
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2015 Rolls Royce March 2 Glory Exterior Drawings
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To kick things off, the kids received insight into the Rolls-Royce car creation process with a string of masterclasses, out of which a design was finalized. Under the guidance of the Rolls-Royce Bespoke division, the March Team created a livery that takes cues from the exploits of English racing driver Sir Malcolm Campbell. Back in the ‘20s and ‘30s, Campbell set a series of speed records using various vehicles named the Blue Bird. Most impressively, Campbell was the first person to drive a car over 300 mph, averaging 301.337 mph at Bonneville in 1935.

Campbell also set new speed records on water, and in 1937, took his K3 hydroplane boat, powered by a Rolls V-12, up to 126.33 mph. It’s this record that inspired the creation of the Rolls-Royce Waterspeed Collection, and consequently, the March 2 Glory racer design.

As such, the M2G EV is covered in Maggiore Blue, a color sourced from the Phantom Coupe Waterspeed Collection. Up front is an iconic aluminum-effect hood and grille, while the flanks received a hand-painted coachline. The tires are painted with white pinstripes. Finally, replacing the Spirit of Ecstasy on the nose is a bounding Hare, the March mascot. The Hare is also in the coachline design.

After the final design was settled, the team of Rolls-Royce Apprentices went to work making it a reality, with members of the Rolls Assembly, Engineering and Surface Finish divisions all contributing to the final product as the kids observed and got hands-on experience where possible.

The March 2 Glory uses an aluminum space frame, inspired by the undercarriage of the Phantom, to help cut weight. On top are hand-modeled body panels created using “advanced techniques” in the Rolls Surface Finish Center. These pieces were carefully hewn into a comprehensive aero package that offers downforce while reducing drag. You bet. This svelte shape helps to eke out every bit of speed possible while still conforming to the regulations set forth by the Green Power IET Formula Goblin series rules.

Interior

2015 Rolls Royce March 2 Glory Exterior
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Fittingly, Rolls also paid a good deal of attention to the interior. The driver gets to enjoy high-grade tan leather upholstery plucked directly from the Phantom, with blue custom stitching lining the single seat. The perforated leather backrest shows the initials of each team member, which was hand-stitched by the kids with help from the Leather apprentice team.

While the interior materials are indeed quite premium, don’t think for a second this machine is anything less than a dedicated performance vehicle (who said you couldn’t take on the competition in comfort?). That much is obvious from the prominent roll bar mounted behind the cockpit, while the open-top design offers superior visibility when tracking through the corners. No roof gives the added benefit of keeping the center of gravity low.

Drivetrain

Just like the technological juggernauts of Formula E, the March 2 Glory is a rear/mid-engine, RWD all-electric racer. Providing the juice is a twin-battery, 24-volt power unit, which can propel the car to speeds up to an impressive 8 mph. That’s more than enough to slice up the historic Goodwood Motor Circuit, especially in the hands of an aspiring Nigel Mansell or Lewis Hamilton.

“From practice through to the final race, the twin-battery 24-volt power-unit and aero package worked in perfect harmony,” according to Rolls-Royce. With guidance from the marque’s Apprentices, the team worked to guarantee “linear torque delivery” from the car’s power plant, learning valuable lessons on engineering in the process. Additionally, the team designed the surface of the car to direct the airflow over the rear to increase downforce and maximize grip. This is done with intelligent positioning of the car’s number plate, which is mounted and recessed at just the right angle for a rear-drive race car.

Additional details on the car’s performance specifications are understandably kept under wraps, lest the competition can glean further insight into the car’s remarkable capabilities.

Conclusion

2015 Rolls Royce March 2 Glory Exterior
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The March 2 Glory combines the best of many worlds to create an outstanding final product. It gives a nod to the past, conjuring images of Sir Malcolm Campbell attacking for a new world record, while looking to the future with an all-electric drivetrain. It takes the passion and zeal of youth and channels it towards the well-defined goal of a world-class marque.

Unfortunately, the March Team weren’t the quickest on race day, placing towards the back. However, that’s to be expected with a new car, especially against a field of 83 other highly competitive entries. Regardless, you can bet all the kids involved learned a lot about designing, engineering, and pulling together as a team.

We need more projects like this. Careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are crucial to the future of the auto industry (not to mention just about every other industry out there), and if kids are inspired to follow those kinds of paths, we’re all better off for it. And who knows? Maybe one of these kids will grow up to design the next generation of world-beating sports cars.

The Greenpower Education Trust, a charitable organization that seeks to promote sustainable technology and engineering amongst British youth, was responsible for the race. Originally established in 1999, the Greenpower Education Trust works with 500 schools and over 8,000 schools across the U.K.

One word about the racing series, though – it makes me wonder what the other competitors feel when they see a product of Rolls-Royce design lining up ahead of them. Perhaps we should get other makes in on the action to balance things out.

The only way I could see this being fair would be if marques like Aston Martin or Lotus threw their respective hats into the ring as well. Then would come the inevitable price caps and hired hot shoes, which might taint the series a bit, but hey – if these kids wanna design race cars, better to get them acquainted with the politics now, right?

  • Leave it
    • * Only one made
    • * Little time for development

Press Release

A closely-guarded partnership between Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and a team of budding racers finally broke cover on Sunday. The venerable environs of the Goodwood Motor Circuit did little to intimidate this team of maverick designers, engineers and drivers who produced a highly encouraging performance despite the wet track conditions.

2015 Rolls Royce March 2 Glory Exterior
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The car, a specially engineered electric racer, reached speeds of 8mph as it made short work of a track that has proved the scourge of some of the most revered names in motor racing history.

From practice through to the final race, the twin-battery 24 volt power-unit and aero package worked in perfect harmony. The team, an enthusiastic group of 10 and 11 year-olds from The March Church of England Primary School, just 100 metres from the Home of Rolls-Royce on the westerly corner of the Goodwood Estate, were ecstatic with a performance that built on the strength of a highly successful debut in the 2014 Green Power IET Formula Goblin race series.

The livery, inspired by the exploits of Sir Malcolm Campbell and his land-speed record winning craft, Bluebird, was designed by the March Team in collaboration with the Bespoke designers at the Home of Rolls-Royce. A series of masterclasses, held at the school and at the Company’s head office, determined the final choice of design and also gave the children an insight into the super-luxury automotive manufacturing process.

2015 Rolls Royce March 2 Glory Exterior Drawings
- image 637005

A team of Rolls-Royce Apprentices from Assembly, Engineering, Wood, Leather and the Surface Finish Centre then set to work, turning the design vision into a sleek, exquisitely finished racer, fittingly named ‘March 2 Glory’. Maggiore Blue, the colour made famous by the Phantom Drophead Coupé Waterspeed Collection, is perfectly counterbalanced with a timeless combination of aluminium-effect bonnet and grille surround.

A hand-painted coachline with hare logo, painstakingly applied by Master Coachliner Mark Court, sits above the team’s signature ‘March 2 Glory’ insignia. The addition of a sartorially on-point white pinstripe to the tyres completes a bold and evocative design scheme.

Comfort for the driver is guaranteed through the application of the finest grade Phantom leather in Tan, finished with Bespoke blue stitching. A perforated leather backrest displays the initials of all of the team members, hand-stitched by the children, overseen by the Leathershop Apprentice team.

In a unique nod to modern-day history, a ‘March Hare’ hand-veneered mascot, takes the place of the traditional Spirit of Ecstasy figurine. A similar mascot, in the shape of a rabbit, can be seen on the Rolls-Royce four-wheeled gravity racer, originally raced at the Goodwood Festival Speed Soapbox Challenge in 2002 and now on display at the Company’s head office.

Far from an exhibition of style over racing prowess, The March School car is an engineering triumph. An aluminium space-frame, reminiscent of the state-of-the-art frame that underpins the Rolls-Royce Phantom, has been specially built to reduce weight, in turn, reducing the friction coefficient between the road and tyres. The space-frame is clad in light-weight body panels, hand-moulded using advanced techniques in the Rolls-Royce Surface Finish Centre to the shape of the frame to make the car as aerodynamic as possible. Adherence to the strict guidelines of the Green Power IET Formula Goblin race series ensured the hackles of the eagle-eyed scrutineers were not raised.

2015 Rolls Royce March 2 Glory Exterior Drawings Wallpaper quality
- image 637006

An exhaustive process of testing and refining overseen by the marque’s Apprentice team ensured linear torque delivery from the car’s twin 12V battery pack. Exceptional road-holding capability is also maximised through intelligent channeling of airflow. This is via intuitive positioning of the ‘March 2 Glory’ number plate which is mounted and recessed at an optimal angle for maximum downforce – the perfect configuration for a rear-drive racer.

Andrew Ball, Global Corporate Communications Manager, said, “We were delighted to support The March CE Primary School with their 2015 Greenpower entry. The team at Rolls-Royce were impressed with the children’s enthusiasm and passion for the project and their attention to every detail. We have no doubt that they are designers and engineers of the future, and we look forward to welcoming them one day to the Rolls-Royce family.”

Chris Hicks, Maths Teacher, The March Church of England Primary School, said, “It has been a real privilege for the children to work with the experts from Rolls-Royce and I’m sure it has inspired many to pursue future careers in engineering.”

2015 Rolls Royce March 2 Glory Exterior Drawings
- image 637007

The race was organised by the Greenpower Education Trust, a charity that aims to promote sustainable engineering and technology to young people across the UK. Since inception in 1999, GreenPower has rapidly grown and now works with 500 schools and over 8,000 students.

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