Shell is teaming up with legendary designer Gordon Murray and engine specialist Geo Technology to create a Project M city car which will be optimized for urban transportation in the cities of the future. Murray has been fascinated by future transport solutions for several years, including a collaboration with Yamaha back in 2013 that resulted in the Motiv prototype car.
Code named Project M, the new car is said to have achieved fuel economy of 97 mpg in testing in the UK. Murray and Shell think that’s the kind of fuel sipping economy future drivers will need for getting around in 2050, when fully three quarters of the world’s estimated 9 billion inhabitants will live in cities. Of course, many people think we will have fully transitioned to electric cars by then, but Shell doesn’t want to think about that.
In a press release, Shell says, “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…..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 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.”
Oddly, there are no plans to produce the Project M car. The partners prefer instead to apply the lessons learned from the collaboration to other real world products.