My first memory of Shell is when I was racing in South Africa when I was just 19 years old. I designed and built my own chassis and engine and was fortunate to have minor product sponsorship on the side and one of the products was Shell.
Shell worked alongside the team at Gordon Murray Design in 2010 on the T.25 prototype that won two trophies in the RAC Brighton to London Future Car Challenge.
Myself and Osamu Goto go back to the mid 80’s when we began working together. I was at McLaren Formula One for 3 years, won 3 world championships’ and had a wonderful working relationship with Honda, Goto-san was my counterpart, we formed a good relationship and became true friends during that time. We were highly successful working with Senna and Prost – I think we still hold the record for 15 out of 16 wins in one season!
The opportunity to collaborate with Shell, Goto-san and the team at Geo Technologies was an opportunity not to be missed. The project has allowed us to show what partnerships can achieve when working together. We have challenged every aspect of car design using the environmentally positive iStream® process, optimised engine efficiency and lubricant technology to improve the vehicle’s fuel economy and reduce its CO2 emissions in order to create the Shell Car. Not only have we risen to the challenge and exceeded our initial expectations but we have pushed the boundaries of existing technologies to innovate for greater energy efficiency today.
The Shell Car represents a major breakthrough. It is a city car designed to have world-leading efficiency and ultra-low emissions. The car is also optimised for performance, cost, safety, usability, recyclability and ease of assembly, which gives it many key advantages: low weight and a very small engine for high fuel efficiency; small external dimensions which can ease congestion and allow 90 degrees to the kerb parking, and, with its unique door-opening system, close-proximity end-to-end parking; a reduced environmental impact, as fewer resources are needed to make each vehicle and it has a low fuel consumption; and safety, from impact qualities designed to minimise harm to pedestrians and a Formula-One-inspired safety-cell structure that protects passengers from end and side impacts.
Collaboration creates long-term partnerships that will help to fulfil the full potential of fuel economy improvement technologies.