Automotive

Shell unveils 89-mpg Project M concept city car

Shell unveils 89-mpg Project M...
The Project M concept is described as a "total rethink" of Gordon Murray's 2010 T.25 city car
The Project M concept is described as a "total rethink" of Gordon Murray's 2010 T.25 city car
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The Project M concept is described as a "total rethink" of Gordon Murray's 2010 T.25 city car
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The Project M concept is described as a "total rethink" of Gordon Murray's 2010 T.25 city car
The Project M car weighs in at just 550 kg (1,213 lb), by virtue of the use of recycled carbon fiber for its body
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The Project M car weighs in at just 550 kg (1,213 lb), by virtue of the use of recycled carbon fiber for its body
The Project M was designed using Gordon Murray Design's iStream approach
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The Project M was designed using Gordon Murray Design's iStream approach
The Project M car is said to use a third less energy in its lifetime than a typical city car and around half the energy to build and run than a typical small family car
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The Project M car is said to use a third less energy in its lifetime than a typical city car and around half the energy to build and run than a typical small family car
The Project M has a top speed of 156 km/h (97 mph), but this is limited to 145 km/h (90 mph) by design
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The Project M has a top speed of 156 km/h (97 mph), but this is limited to 145 km/h (90 mph) by design
The Project M has three seats, with a central driving position and two passengers seated behind
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The Project M has three seats, with a central driving position and two passengers seated behind
The Project M concept does away with wing mirrors in favor of cameras that relay the view around the car to screens on the dashboard
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The Project M concept does away with wing mirrors in favor of cameras that relay the view around the car to screens on the dashboard
The Project M concept measuress 2.5-m (8.2-ft) long, 1.35-m (4.4-ft) wide and 1.6-m (5.2-ft) tall
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The Project M concept measuress 2.5-m (8.2-ft) long, 1.35-m (4.4-ft) wide and 1.6-m (5.2-ft) tall
The Project M concept was designed by Shell in partnership with auto designer Gordon Murray
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The Project M concept was designed by Shell in partnership with auto designer Gordon Murray

Shell is perhaps best known for producing what goes into cars, rather than cars themselves. Now,the firm has taken the wraps off the Project M car. A vehicle that's claimed will use a third less energy in its lifetime than a typical city car and around half the energy to build and run than a typical small family car.

Plans for Project M were announced by Shell last year and the car is described as a "total rethink" of Gordon Murray's 2010 T.25 city car. Indeed, it was designed in partnership with auto designer Murray, whose other work includes Formula One cars and the McLaren F1.

In order to achieve its notable efficiencies, Shell says the Project M concept was created using a process of "co-engineering." This means that the vehicle's body, engine and lubricants were all designed together so as to work optimally with each other.

The Project M concept was designed by Shell in partnership with auto designer Gordon Murray
The Project M concept was designed by Shell in partnership with auto designer Gordon Murray

Elsewhere, materials were chosen selectively, the size of the vehicle was reduced where possible and it was streamlined. The motor oil used in the Project M was specially designed by Shell, with the primary aim of minimizing friction to help improve the car's efficiency. The use of bespoke lubricants is said to give the Project M car a 5 percent improvement in fuel efficiency compared to standard lubricants.

All of this is reported to result in an optimal fuel consumption of 89.1 mpg US (2.64 l/100 km) at a steady 70 km/h (45 mph).

The concept car is powered by three cylinder 660-cc petrol engine, whose components were also selected to help reduce friction. The engine produces 43 bhp and 64 Nm of torque, as well as a top speed of 156 km/h (97 mph) – limited to 145 km/h (90 mph) – and acceleration from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 15.8 secs.

The Project M car was designed using Gordon Murray Design's iStream approach, which combines cradle-to-grave thinking, lightweight Formula One technology, low-carbon propulsion, adherence to strict safety standards and flexible manufacturing processes. Many of the car's components were also 3D-printed, helping to accelerate build-time. Shell says it can be assembled for a quarter of the price of a conventional steel car and almost entirely recycled at the end of its life.

The Project M car is said to use a third less energy in its lifetime than a typical city car and around half the energy to build and run than a typical small family car
The Project M car is said to use a third less energy in its lifetime than a typical city car and around half the energy to build and run than a typical small family car

The final design has a tall and narrow look measuring 2.5-m (8.2-ft) long, 1.35-m (4.4-ft) wide and 1.6-m (5.2-ft) high. It weighs in at just 550 kg (1,213 lb), by virtue of a recycled carbon body. Wing mirrors have been done away with in favor of cameras that relay the view around the vehicle to screens on the dashboard and its wheel-arch covers have been designed to further reduce drag.

There are three seats in the Project M, with a central driving position and two passengers seated behind. A 6-m (20-ft) turning circle is smaller than that of a London taxi and on-screen graphics provide the driver fuel consumption data and guidance on how to drive more efficiently.

Shell tells Gizmag that future plans for the car will be announced "in due course." The video below provides a look at the Project M concept.

Source: Shell

Shell Concept Car launched in collaboration with Geo Technology and Gordon Murray Design

24 comments
ClauS
A city car without hybrid drive, to recover the kinetic energy while braking? FAIL! Not to mention about an battery electric drive. I think it would be nativity to think that Shell would pay for a concept which have anything to do with an electric drive.
VincentWolf
Looks like something Disneyland would design......a toy car.
DomainRider
Needs an enticing colour scheme; romper-room red, yellow, & white is dreadful - looks like a Noddy car.
Peter Kelly
For a car specifically designed for economy, that is limited in performance and had practicality constraints, this is a truly dreadful effort. I'm astonished that they have even shown it, or anyone has taken credit! You can get almost that fuel economy from a 1.2l Peugeot that is not hamstrung like this carbuncle. Unless someone has missed a '1' from the front of that figure, so it should read 189.1 mpg at 45mph, then forget it. Worse than a Sinclair C5...
Buellrider
Looks like a cartoon faced car from "Cars". The main things I dislike in petrol run cars are filling them up all the time and all the requisite and costly maintenance. Mainly oil changes which are naturally another revenue stream for big oil, go figure. The quicker we go to full on electric the better off we all will be. I own two hybrids but the next car will be an electric car. We will be able to do probably 90+% of our mileage on just electricity since we are like most of the public, doing the vast majority of our driving in the city.
-dphiBbydt
I thought designers were moving away from the stupidity of driving wheels directly from an inefficient reciprocating friction engine via costly and inefficient clutching and a mish-mash of never-quite-the-right-gearing. If you're going to design a tall, narrow, light vehicle at least put some batteries low to the ground to stop the thing blowing over in a cross-wind. While you're at it, add an electric motor to drive the wheels, dump the gasoline dinosaur technology and the heavy, inefficient drive-train and all the associated minimally effective components that pretend to reduce pollution and do the job properly.
Alien
I think I'd be worried about getting out in the event of a front end crash.
CliffG
Nice size, clever interior, but why on earth would they use an internal combustion engine? Oh, right, it's Shell.
habakak
Why are people still trying to build something that is not needed? The 100+ mpg car is already here. It's called an electric car. And it's BETTER, more efficient and cleaner than any 89 mpg gasoline car. And it will perform better and be safer. Yes, the price is not there yet, but it will be within a decade. Autonomous electric cars that does not use energy while stuck in traffic will be way more efficient than any gasoline car. And it will be safer without looking like a clown-car. This car will not see the light of day. Wasted effort. In 10 years people will laugh when seeing that garbage like this was even considered.
Bob Flint
Shell....typical, I never by gas there, nor will ever...