Yesterday afternoon was a quietly important time for the future of the automobile.

The Royal College of Art’s prestigious vehicle design course opened to the great and good of the global car industry.

Over a few hours, established designers from most carmakers descend on Kensington Gore in central London to view the work of the latest graduates.

It’s the chance for the students to impress the designers and snap up work experience or even a full-time job with an automotive company.

In recent years, some of the vehicle design graduation shows were almost apologetic about the role of the car, overwhelmed by the hate turned towards personal transport by the rampant environmental movement.

This year – the 40th anniversary of the course – was very different. Even though nearly all of the 15 projects addressed green concerns in some way, they also reflected a great love of the car.