Car designer Gordon Murray, motor engineer Osamu Goto and Shell will collaborate on a city car concept dubbed Project M.
In an interview with Autocar, Murray, designer of the McLaren F1, says that the Project M vehicle will push the “boundaries of light weighting, combustion, aerodynamics and low friction”.
As you’d expect, Gordon Murray’s design company will lead the design and engineering aspects of Project M. According to Murray, his team has “taken the T.25 architecture, with its three-seater layout, and started from scratch in re-assessing its principles and materials”.
The T.25 concept (above and below) debuted back in 2011 featured a iStream body and chassis, which Murray’s company claims reduces weight by 200kg over a comparable supermini, is highly rigid, and easier to produce than a traditional car.
Whereas the T.25 used a 38kW/57Nm 660cc three-cylinder engine from Smart, the Project M vehicle will instead employ a three-cylinder motor taken from a Japanese kei-car. This engine will be refined for ultimate efficiency by former Honda motor engineer Osamu Goto and Swiss engineering firm Geo Technology.
Given that Shell’s main focus is petrochemicals, it’s perhaps no surprise to see that the all-electric T.27 has been left out of the frame for Project M.
As Murray is keen to point out, the last time that he, Goto and Shell worked together was on the McLaren-Honda MP4/4 Formula One car. Back in the 1988 F1 season, that vehicle, in the hands of Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna, won 15 of the 16 races on offer. A record that’s yet to be broken.
The Project M concept car is strictly as a concept car and is expected to debut some time in November this year.
Earlier this year, the Nikkei reported that Yamaha was looking to produce a version of its Motiv.e concept car (above) by 2019. The Motiv.e was designed by Gordon Murray, and features a version of the platform used underneath the T.25 and T.27 concepts.