Shell, in collaboration with the legendary race and road car designer Professor Gordon Murray and engine specialist Osamu Goto, will co-engineer an ultra-compact, efficient car for city use based around the internal combustion engine. The Shell car is scheduled to be unveiled in November 2015 and people will be able to follow the development of the car online.
The Shell concept is intended to be a simple, practical global city car, drawing together the most innovative aspects of lightweight engineering, streamlining and driveline efficiency. Once built, the car will be tested on-the-road.
The concept is intended to inspire thinking about maximizing personal mobility while minimizing energy use, helping people get around the world’s ever-more congested cities.
Initiated by Shell, the collaboration, which is called Project M, brings together Shell’s Lubricant’s Technology Team, The Gordon Murray Design Group and engine specialist Geo Technology. Through this co-engineering relationship, the development of the lubricants, engine and vehicle will be completely integrated, in the hopes of delivering results neither group could achieve by working apart.
Shell provides the fluids for the car specifically ‘designing’ the motor oil that complements and enhances the overall efficiency of the vehicle. Most people would naturally assume that oil, greases and fuels are simply added at the end of a concept-car build project like this, but the Shell car aims to show what can be achieved when its products are integrated into the design, right from the start.
“Since working with Gordon Murray Design team on the T25 car in 2010, we have given further thought on how to deliver a complete rethink of the car, using as little energy as possible. We believe this Shell car will demonstrate how efficient a car can be when Shell works in harmony with vehicle and engine makers during design and build, supplying fuels and lubricants technical expertise. Shell is excited to be working with such top caliber partners and invite others to join us for the remaining part of this exciting journey,” said Selda Gunsel, vice president, Lubricants Technology, Shell.
The three parties last collaborated in 1988 on Ayrton Senna’s and Alain Prost’s Honda-powered, Shell-fueled race cars that won all but one Grand Prix that season, a record that still stands. Shell and Murray go back even further; Shell sponsored the first car and engine Murray ever built, in South Africa, when he was just 19.
Project M is being launched at the Americas round of Shell Eco-Marathon, a global series that challenges student teams to design, build and test ultra-energy-efficient vehicles. The Shell Eco-Marathon Americas is taking place April 9-12 in Detroit.
Click here to watch a video of Gordon Murray talks about his new collaboration with Shell.