Shell, in collaboration with the legendary race and road car designer Gordon Murray and engine specialist Osamu Goto, are working on a project to develop an ultra-compact, efficient car for city use based around the internal combustion engine.
Dubbed Project M, the concept car is scheduled to be unveiled in November 2015 and those who are interested to follow the development of the car can visit their dedicated website at www.shell.com/Projectm.
According to the Shell, this concept car is intended to be a simple, practical global city car; drawing together the most innovative aspects of light-weight engineering, streamlining, and driveline efficiency and work brilliantly whether you are in a city where mass-motoring is a relatively new thing or already a century-old. Once built, the car will be tested on-the-road.
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 where, by 2050, up to three quarters of the world’s estimated 9 billion people could be living.
Of course, 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.
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 Gordon Murray go back way further; the petrol company sponsored the first car and engine Gordon Murray ever built, in South Africa, when he was just 19.