The car has a top speed of 110 kilometres per hour (km/h) – more than enough for a day trip away from the city – but performs best at 50-70km/h. Independent tests suggest that it can drive 100km on just 2.6 litres of petrol at a steady 70km/h. In tests, it produced at least a quarter fewer CO2 emissions than typical petrol-powered city and hybrid cars. The car’s body is made with recycled carbon fibre. This helps to reduce its overall weight to 550 kilograms, while cutting the energy used in manufacturing by up to 45% compared to a city car available today.
Wing mirrors have been replaced with tiny digital cameras that relay the view of the road behind through screens inside, while new wheel-arch covers further reduce drag.
On the inside, Geo Technology improved the efficiency of an engine already found in some city cars that uses a diamond-like carbon coating to help minimise friction, while Shell scientists developed a special lubricant.
“The lower weight and the aerodynamic improvement has been a significant factor in increasing the efficiency. So has the engine lubricant collaboration between Shell and Geo Technology. By working together we’ve achieved far more than we could have done on our own,” said Matt Brewerton, the lead project design engineer at GMD.
Story by Dan Fineren
Shell itself has no plans to put the concept car into commercial production. The car was tested alongside cars available to buy in the UK. Actual performance figures may vary according to vehicle, driving conditions and driving style. For more information, see www.shell.com/projectm.