Rolls-Royce has unveiled a new single seat electric sports car for children to drive around hospital.
Engineers at the iconic British firm spent more than 400 hours of their spare time developing the all-new Rolls-Royce SRH.
The one-off motor has been hand built for child patients at St Richard’s Hospital Paediatric Day Surgery Unit in Chichester, West Sussex.
It will allow youngsters to drive themselves to the operating theatre in an attempt to reduce their anxiety and stress.
Rolls-Royce normally reserve the first drive of a new model for the chief executive, but with Torsten Muller-Otvos too large to fit in, two young patients from St Richard’s had the first spin.
Molly Matthews, eight, and Hari Rajyaguru, seven, were chauffeur driven to Rolls-Royce’s HQ in Goodwood where they drove the SRH around the factory.
With a 24-volt gel battery, the SRH is capable of a top speed of 10mph, but can be limited to 4mph for when it is driven down the corridors of the hospital.
Lawrie Mewse, project leader of the Rolls-Royce SRH, said, “I am 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 here at Goodwood.
“However, the most important thing is giving back to the local community and having a positive impact for children and their parents during their time in hospital.”
The SRH, which is 165cm long, 80cm wide and 70cm high, weighs 135kg.
It has a two-tone paint-scheme of Andalusian White and Salamanca Blue and is finished with a hand-applied St James Red coachline.
Inside, the Roller has a two-tone steering wheel, seats and self-righting wheel centres perfectly colour-matched to the St James Red coachline.
It will be delivered to the hospital today.
Sue Nicholls, paediatric matron at Western Sussex Hospitals NSH Foundation Trust, said, “It’s wonderful seeing a smiley face on the way to theatre, rather than an apprehensive one, and everyone caring for children at St Richard’s is so grateful to Rolls-Royce for this unique donation.
“We know boys and girls alike will love driving it and in the coming years it will help turn a daunting experience into a more fun and enjoyable one for hundreds and hundreds of children.”