Shell Reveals 89-MPG City Car Concept

#hashtags: #Gordon Murray Design #Gordon Murray

Shell has unveiled a concept city car that could deliver material reductions in energy use thanks to a “co-engineering” strategy that allows the vehicle’s body, engine design, and lubricants to be created together. Independent testing in the U.K. revealed that Shell’s concept car would be able to deliver a 34-percent reduction in primary energy use over its life cycle compared to city cars currently available in that market.

The Shell concept is a rethink of the Gordon Murray Design T.25 city car of 2010, for which Shell produced a prototype oil to help improve its energy efficiency. This new concept is a collaborative effort between vehicle, engine, and lubricant designers who tailored all three elements to work optimally with each other. Designers also took a holistic approach and focused on selecting the right materials, aggressive downsizing, streamlining, and enhanced efficiency and energy delivery through a unique engine and lubricant design.

During highway and urban driving tests, the Shell concept car was able to achieve a steady state consumption equivalent to 89.1 mpg on the U.S. EPA cycle at 45 mph. The car also had a 5-percent improvement in fuel efficiency thanks to the use of bespoke lubricants. During independent testing alongside comparable vehicles, the Shell Concept Car produced 28-percent lower CO2 emissions than a gas-powered car and 32 percent less than hybrids.

“This is a significant automobile engineering milestone. I’m very proud of what Shell’s scientists and their partners at Geo Technology and Gordon Murray Design have achieved,” said Mark Gainsborough, executive vice president of Shell’s global lubricants businesses, in a release. “Insights gained from this project could be transformational in terms of how we address energy use in the road transport sector.”

Built around Gordon Murray’s patented iStream platform, the Shell Concept Car weighs only 550 kg or 1,213 pounds thanks to the extensive use of lightweight materials that have low CO2 and energy footprints. Materials such as recycled carbon fiber are used for the body, which can be assembled for the same price as a steel car. Additionally, the Shell concept can be recycled in its entirety at the end of its life cycle. Inside, the minuscule city car features a central driving position with two passenger seats flanking it on either side behind. A modified version of Shell’s Drive App is also featured in the car and can be used via a smartphone to provide real-time data to allow drivers monitor their fuel consumption.

Source: Shell