Shell to co-engineer concept city car
By Kyle Lindsay
Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 16:12
The Project M concept
Scheduled to be unveiled in November
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 concept is intended to be a simple, practical global city car – drawing together the most innovative aspects of light-weight engineering, streamlining, and driveline efficiency.
The concept is intended to inspire thinking about maximising personal mobility while minimising 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.
The three parties last collaborated in 1988 on Ayrton Senna’s and Alain Prost’s Honda-powered, Shell-fuelled race cars that won all but one Grands Prix that season, a record that still stands. Shell and Professor Gordon Murray go back way further – Shell sponsored the first car and engine Professor Gordon Murray ever built, in South Africa, when he was just 19.
This technically intimate co-engineering relationship between the three expert teams means that the development of the lubricants, engine and vehicle will be completely integrated delivering results neither group could achieve by working apart.
“Since working with the Gordon Murray Design team on the T.25 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.” said Selda Gunsel – Vice President Lubricants Technology
Project M is being launched at the Americas round of Shell Eco-marathon, a global series which challenges student teams to design, build and test ultra-energy-efficient vehicles. Shell Eco-marathon America is in Detroit on 9-12 April 2015.