Shell and Gordon Murray team up for a 97-mpg Project M concept

Shell decided to go one step further…

and opted in a collaboration with the race and road car designer the legendary Professor Gordon Murray and with the engine specialist Osamu Goto.

They will participate in co-engineering an ultra-compact and efficient city car that will be based on an internal combustion engine, named Project M.


The schedule for the Shell concept is set to be shown sometime in November this year.

What’s new is that you and me and all of the regular Joes will have the opportunity to have a complete follow up on the development through a new dedicated hub on their website called ProjectM

1. Simple and Global City Car

There are two main principles that Shell wants to incorporate in their concept:

First of is that the car need to be simple…

…and the second one is that it needs to be a practical global city car.

With this, they plan to draw together only the most innovative insights in light-weight engineering, as well as streamlining and driveline efficiency.

These elements need to work brilliantly together no matter if the drive is in the city where the principle of mass motoring is somewhat a new thing or already a century-old.

As soon as the vehicle is built it will be tested on-the-road.


The main purpose of the concept is to inspire a different thinking when it comes to maximising personal mobility and at the same time minimising energy use.

This will help people get around the streets more efficiently in a cities that are getting more and more congested and a peak that is estimated to happen by 2050…

…when the world is going to be populated by roughly nine billion people.

The initiative is led by Shell in a collaboration dubbed Project M.

This project tends to bring together the Shell Lubricant’s Technology Team, as well as the Gordon Murray Design Group and master engine specialist known as Geo Technology.

2. A long and Intimate Co-Engineering Relationship

This highly technical and very intimate co-engineering relationship is between three expert teams with a world-class reputation.

This literally means that the development of the lubricants, engine concept and the car will be in an integrated cohesion, which we expect to deliver excellent results.

Of course, Shell will provide the fluids for the vehicle.

It will concentrate on designing the motor oil that enhances the overall efficiency of the car.


You would naturally assume that the oil, and all of the greases and fuels are things that are added at the end of a concept-car build project or any other car building process for that matter…

But knowing that Shell is very serious when it comes to creating the perfect oil for this project they aim to show what can be achieved when their products are implemented in the design from the very beginning.

“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 Technology.

3. Collaboration lasting since 1988

This is not the first time these three teams collaborated together on a project:

Their last collaboration was way back in 1988 on Ayrton Senna’s and Alain Prost’s HondaTM-powered, that were of course fueled by Shell.

And this collaboration wasn’t only a publicity stunt…

…it won all but one Grands Prix that season, a record that still stands today.

Interestingly enough, Shell and the Professor go way back.

You surely didn’t know that Shell also sponsored the first car and engine Professor Gordon Murray ever built in South Africa, at the tender age of 19.

Project M will be in the spotlight at the Americas round of Shell Eco Marathon. This event is a global series which challenges student teams to design, build and test ultra-energy-efficient cars and it’s happening in Detroit, USA it started on the 9 April and will last for 4 days.

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