British car designer Gordon Murray is best known for his Formula One designs and of course, the legendary McLaren F1. However, what you see here is his lesser known but a far more significant creation, the T25 city car backed by multinational oil major Shell.
Shell recently unveiled this revolutionary lightweight car which, if it were ever to go into production, could deliver material reductions in energy use in the road transport sector. The three-seater model is tangible proof of energy efficiency improvements that can be achieved by using technology available today through a process of “co-engineering” whereby vehicle body, engine design and lubricants are all created together.
This particular creation is a total rethink of the T25 city car by the Gordon Murray Design back in 2010 for which Shell produced a prototype oil to improve the vehicle’s energy efficiency. Independent testing and studies have shown that Shell’s version would deliver as much as 34 per cent reduction in primary energy use over its entire lifecycle when compared to a typical city car in the UK.
Shell says its creation was tested alongside a range of other cars under comparable conditions to measure fuel economy and CO2 emissions. In the formal NEDC test, it produced lower CO2 emissions than both a typical petrol-powered city car (28 per cent) and a hybrid car (32 per cent).
Compared to the original T25, Shell’s version features different hub caps and aerodynamic spats over the real wheel arches, all in interest of lesser fuel consumption and reducing drag. Otherwise, the concept retains the McLaren F1-style three-seater layout, with a centrally mounted driver’s seat and two seats at the back. Internally, the Smart-derived 3-cylinder, 660cc engine has benefitted from new pistons, valve springs and redesigned conrods to reduce internal losses.
Shell will soon present this revolutionary city car concept along with all the details, at the Beijing Motor Show.