The group is developing a city concept car based on Gordon Murray’s T25 three-seater and powered by a 660cc three-cylinder 75ps engine that has been brought in from Mitsubishi and redeveloped.
The group says the aim of the project is to develop an ultra-compact, efficient car for city use based on an advanced IC engine. The ‘M’ in Project M stands for mobility.
The focus of the project is to reduce overall vehicle efficiency by reducing the energy demand of the vehicle and improving the efficiency with which the energy is delivered.
Project M aims to create a gasoline car that is cheaper to buy and run than an EV thanks to low running costs and low depreciation.
The car weighs just 570kg and makes use of low-friction lubricants specially developed by Shell, as well as pistons that have been slimmed right down to reduce weight and friction.
Project M says that the valve train components were coated with diamond-like carbon to minimize friction and preserve wear control. Additionally, the compression ratio was raised to enhance efficiency at light load.
Shell has developed a prototype oil for the Project M car that sits in the 0W-12 range and is so advanced that it is not recognized by industry specifications. It uses materials such as molybdenum to chemically react within the engine on metal surfaces to reduce friction still further.
The group says that it has stuck with an internal combustion engine rather than an alternative powertrain because it takes so long for new technology to gain a foothold in the market that it estimates fuel cells won’t have overtaken combustion technology even by 2050.
November 19, 2015