Shell Project M concept drawingShell is to collaborate with Professor Gordon Murray to engineer a tiny city car concept that it hopes will be a ‘complete rethink of the car’. 

The backing of the global oil giant could finally see a version of the ace former McLaren F1 designer’s 2010 T.25 city car become a production reality.

Shell says its car will be revealed in November 2015 – and it’s confirmed that, once built, it will be fully road-tested.

The new car will also, adds Shell, use an internal combustion engine rather than all-electric drive: it’s collaborating with engine guru Osamu Goto (lead architect of Honda’s huge F1 success in the 1980s and 90s) to create an ultra-efficient new powertrain concept.

Gordon Murray

Indeed, the collaboration of Shell, Murray and Goto actually recreates the 1980s McLaren F1 ‘dream team’…

Shell says the particular appeal of the project is being involved from the very start of integrating oils, greases and fuels. “Since working with the Gordon Murray Design team on the T.25 car in 2010, we have given further thought on how to deliver a complete rethink of the car,” said Shell vice president of lubricants technology Selda Gunsel.

“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.”

Gordon Murray has been trying for several years to get major brand backing for his innovative city car concept: a simple, ultra-lightweight global city car, his aim with it is to maximise usability while minimising energy consumption.

There’s certainly a big potential market for it: by 2050, up to 75 per cent of the world’s 9 billion population may be living in crowded cities…

Shell has launched a Project M microsite to follow progress of the car’s development ahead of its November 2015 launch.