Apple is not alone in the
world, trying its hand on making cars. Global lubricants giant Shell is
planning an ultra-compact, efficient car for city use based around the internal
combustion engine. The company is doing this in collaboration with the
legendary race and road car designer Professor Gordon Murray. Engine specialist
Osamu Goto will co-engineer this car. The Shell car is scheduled to be unveiled
in November 2015 and people will be able to follow the development of the car
through the website, shell.com/Projectm.
According to a press release,
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; 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 nine billion people could
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. 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
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 calibre partners and invite others to join us for the
remaining part of this exciting journey,” Selda Gunsel, Vice President Lubricants
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.
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. The
Americas Shell Eco Marathon is in Detroit, USA on April 9-12 2015.