Polestar Contest Winner Will Take Shape as a Hot Wheels Car

Jackson Wheeler
6 Min Read

Many of us have wanted to design Hot Wheels cars of our own when we were young, and some actually did so with the help of a Dremel, some paint, and glue that would later be found stuck to a dozen different things in the house. In the age of 3D-printing, the prototyping process for 1:64 cars has become far easier to execute at home, but also far more difficult to explain as “a household project” to our spouses.

Polestar is now teaming up with Hot Wheels on a contest that will see the winning entry mass produced by the toy maker, and set to be sold around the world.

The two companies urge aspiring designers to be as imaginative as possible in coming up with a vehicle design, and to push the boundaries of design and performance in their submissions.

But there is one important limitation.

“The only requirement is that Mattel should be able to translate the final design into a 1:64 Hot Wheels die-cast vehicle, and visuals showing the vehicle’s interior design and immediate surroundings should be included as part of their submission,” Polestar says.

This means an electric mining truck is perhaps out of the question, because in true 1:64 scale the toy would be too large to fit into the traditional Hot Wheels blister. (That’s too bad because we love dump trucks). Hot Wheels has certainly done mining trucks before, some of you might point out, but they were definitely not to scale with the passenger cars, we should note.

Our next idea is a Brinks-style armored truck that, instead of cash, would carry cryptocurrency from people’s houses to the crypto bank, at which point it would disappear in some kind of server snafu and people would have no recourse because it’s not money and it’s not FDIC insured. Besides looking cool and armored, this toy would also have the effect of teaching kids about different types of scams adults try to pull on each other.

a white sports car on a road


The 2023 contest winner was made into a 1:1 concept car shown at the IAA in Munich.

Okay, we have one more idea, and this time it’s kind of serious and is probably going to happen in a few years anyway: A driverless SAE Level 4 ambulance that, once summoned via an app, would come and pick you up to take you to the ER, but charge you about the same fee as an Uber rather than thousands of dollars for a five-minute ride like regular ambulances do in the US. You know—the thing that you thought was covered by taxes when you played with Hot Wheels as a kid, but later found out was not.

We guarantee you someone has already patented this and is just waiting for SAE Level 4 tech to get good enough.

Perhaps our ideas are too dystopian, but since we’re living in a Paul Verhoeven timeline we’re going to see at least one of these two things appear before the end of the decade.

“Dreams have the power to inspire and transport us beyond what we thought possible,” said Maximilian Missoni, Polestar’s Head of Design. “This is a chance for all participating designers to really push that Polestar envelope and let their imagination run riot.”

A number of promising entries will make it to the official short list, with the entrants set to be mentored one-on-one by the Polestar design team to refine their proposals.

The Polestar design contest has been an annual event since 2020, with last year’s winning entry being built into a full-scale concept car dubbed Synergy, shown at the IAA in Munich.

“I believe this year’s Hot Wheels collaboration will push the design community to work outside of their traditional comfort zones by balancing the minimalist Polestar brand essence with the extreme Hot Wheels aesthetic,” said Juan Pablo Bernal, Interior Design Manager at Polestar. “But while we’re expecting some of the most extreme submissions yet, we don’t expect to be any less inspired by the quality, quantity, and diversity of entries we receive.”

Enter the contest here. The competition opens March 5, so you have some time to think about your entry.

Will we in fact see self-driving ambulances in this decade, or is it something we’ll see in the 2030s? Let us know in the comments below.

Headshot of Jay Ramey

Jay Ramey grew up around very strange European cars, and instead of seeking out something reliable and comfortable for his own personal use he has been drawn to the more adventurous side of the dependability spectrum. Despite being followed around by French cars for the past decade, he has somehow been able to avoid Citroën ownership, judging them too commonplace, and is currently looking at cars from the former Czechoslovakia. Jay has been with Autoweek since 2013. 

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at Speedofdaily.com, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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