Shell joins city car project

Dur­ban­ite Gor­don Mur­ray’s dream to make cities less con­gested re­ceives an­other boost

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - — Wit­ness Re­porter.

SHELL last week an­nounced it plans to sup­port the launch a world city car in Novem­ber 2015, work­ing with two au­to­mo­tive greats, the South African Gor­don Mur­ray and Ja­pan’s Osamu Goto.

This takes a step fur­ther the dream of the Dur­ban-born-and­bred Pro­fes­sor Mur­ray to present the world’s con­gested cities with wheels that are both ef­fec­tive and ef­fi­cient.

The three part­ners call their col­lab­o­ra­tion “Project M”, but Shell said in a state­ment in will not con­tinue the work started be­tween Mur­ray and Yamaha last year, as the car “will be a groundup, to­tal re-think of the Gor­don Mur­ray De­sign T.25 car de­vel­oped in 2010”.

Fol­low­ing on the F1 Mclaren, Gor­don Mur­ray De­sign was es­tab­lished in 2007 to de­velop an in­no­va­tive and dis­rup­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing tech­nol­ogy trade­marked iStream.

Gor­don Mur­ray De­sign’s first mile­stone was the T.25 — a proof-of-con­cept for the fu­tur­is­tic vi­sion of ur­ban mo­bil­ity. When it made its de­but in mid-2010, the petrol-pow­ered T.25 in­stantly re­de­fined tra­di­tional weight, foot­print, safety, us­abil­ity and ef­fi­ciency pa­ram­e­ters us­ing Gor­don Mur­ray De­sign’s patented iStream with its in­no­va­tive use of For­mula 1 tech­nol­ogy, sim­pli­fied for cost for the ev­ery­day mo­torist.

The com­pany prides it­self in de­liv­er­ing com­plete car pro­grammes in a highly ef­fi­cient and in­no­va­tive way from con­cept, de­sign, pro­to­type and devel­op­ment through to pro­duc­tion ready prod­uct.

Leg­endary en­gine spe­cial­ist Osamu Goto is a for­mer direc­tor of Honda F1, R&D manager at Fer­rari F1 and mem­ber of the board at a Sauber-owned com­pany. Geo Tech­nol­ogy is his brain­child and have a rep­u­ta­tion for en­gi­neer­ing the ul­tra-com­pact, ef­fi­cient en­gines that will be needed for the pro­posed city car

Shell said in a state­ment the con­cept is in­tended to in­spire think­ing about max­imis­ing per­sonal mo­bil­ity while min­imis­ing en­ergy use, help­ing peo­ple get around the world’s ev­er­more con­gested cities where, by 2050, up to three quar­ters of the world’s es­ti­mated nine bil­lion peo­ple could be living.

Vice pres­i­dent of lu­bri­cants tech­nol­ogy at Shell, Selda Gun­sel said since work­ing with the Gor­don Mur­ray De­sign team on the T.25 car in 2010, Shell gave a lot of thought on how to de­liver a car that will use 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.

The Shell car is not in­tended for pro­duc­tion, but to in­spire think­ing about how the ef­fi­ciency and util­ity of a car with a rel­a­tively “sim­ple” con­ven­tional gaso­line en­gine can be max­imised for city use around the globe and also to prove the benefits of ground-up en­gi­neer­ing col­lab­o­ra­tions.

The three par­ties last col­lab­o­rated in 1988 on Ayr­ton Senna’s and Alain Prost’s Honda-pow­ered, Shell- fu­elled race cars that won all but one Grands Prix that sea­son, a record that still stands.

Shell and Pro­fes­sor Gor­don Mur­ray go back way fur­ther; Shell spon­sored the first car and en­gine Pro­fes­sor Gor­don Mur­ray ever built, in South Africa, when he was just 19.


The fu­ture of per­sonal trans­port in cities, as viewed by Gor­don Mur­ray De­sign with the T.25 car in 2010 (left), and last year be­tween GMD and Yamaha with the MO­TIV.e (right).

Top: Selda Gun­sel, vice pres­i­dent for lu­bri­cants tech­nol­ogy at Shell. Be­low: Gor­don Mur­ray.

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