This is one of three little upright vehicles whose desginers aim to change traffic as we know it. Read about them on PAGE 4.
WHILE Shell expects people will still be making petrol and diesel cars well into the 2070s, the Dutch petroleum giant is preparing for a leaner future.
The group last week released a concept of what it described as the ultra efficient city car.
Designed by Durban- born Gordon Murray and powered by a 0,66- litre three- cylinder petrol engine adopted from the previous generation European- market Smart Fortwo, ex- Honda F1 engine wizard Osamu Goto’s Geo Technology has minimised friction and maximised efficiency of the engine.
“There are quite a lot of impressive low- carbon and zero- carbon vehicles coming onto the market,” said Shell’s Robert Mainwaring, “but a Tesla or a BMW i8 can cost £ 100 000. Our project sets out to show that efficiency is affordable, especially when it involves a very light car made using a low- cost manufacturing process.
“We believe we’ve demonstrated that the best lubricants can interact with car and engine to deliver really good efficiency,” he added. “It’s very unusual for car designers, engine designers and lubrication technicians to work with the degree of intimacy they’ve had in this project. The result has been very encouraging.”
One of the intimacies was the iStream production process that Murray had designed to dramatically reduce the energy requirements of car manufacturing. One of the things iStream dispenses with is the outside- in design, as the designer’s focus definitely streams from the driver out. Hence the ergonomic upright design, which reminds of Murray’s sensible T25 city car, which he designed in 2010. Yamaha and British firm TVR are to date the only companies using iStream. Shell said in a statement it had also created a motor oil specifically for the car’s small engine. To access the Shell car, the entire cab flips forward, giving access to two passenger seats, mounted tandem style inside the roll cage around which the car is constructed.
Shell said recycled carbon fibre was used for the concept car to reducing weight and cut assembly costs to only 25% of a steel panel car, while some components were also 3Dprinted as the cheapest, fastest way to create onceoff parts.
Small, but still able to fit Gordon Murray’s sixfoot frame ( left), with engine wizard Osamu Goto ( centre) or Shell’s Robert Mainwaring on the back bench.