Remember the T25 city car first shown in 2010? The brainchild of McLaren F1 design Gordon Murray, it was designed to revolutionise the way city cars functioned and were manufactured – and the project has been given a new lease of life thanks to oil giant Shell.
In collaboration with Murray and ex Honda F1 engine designer Osamu Goto, Shell has revealed plans to build an ‘ultra-compact, efficient car for city use based around the internal combustion engine’. As shown in Shell’s engineering drawing, it will stick with the T25’s three-seater, rear-engined layout make use of Murray’s innovative iStream manufacturing process where composite panels are bonded directly to a steel frame.
Codenamed ProjectM for the time being, a concept car will be unveiled in November 2015, followed by on-road testing to assess the design. Although there are no immediate plans to put it into full production, a spokesman revealed that the ultimate ambition would be to sell the car in emerging markets, such as India, offering low-cost, efficient transport for the masses.
Shell’s main contribution will be to develop a low-friction lubricant for the car, which it claims can cut fuel consumption by up to 6.5 per cent. Project M will be launched at the Americas round of the Shell Eco-marathon in Detroit on 9-12 April, although the finished product won’t be shown until November.
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