On 23 December 2009, Northern Ireland-based vehicle manufacturer Wrightbus was awarded the contract to build the Future Routemaster. The contract called for a bus with a capacity for at least 87 passengers (80 with wheelchair acomodation), two staircases, three doors, and a rear platform which could be left open, or closed with a door when there was no conductor on board.

On 17 May 2010, the final design was unveiled by Wrightbus, with asymmetric glass swoops as its signature “futuristic” styling feature. Transport for London and Wrightbus worked with Heatherwick Studio to produce the styling for Wrightbus’ final design. As it is an iconic bus for London, TfL has applied to the Intellectual Property Office for Registered Design Protection for the exterior design.