For the Beijing Motor Show ex Formula 1 car designer Gordon Murray with the help of Sheel petrol company prepared the concept of the micro city car "Project-M".
The concept of city-car with particular three seat configuration, where driver sits in the middle with two passengers behind him, is actually the evolution of Murray's project T-25, which was first introduced in 2009 but was in the works for many years after. Recently it was "rethinked" with the help of Shell. According to those who helped in its development, their idea was to create an energy efficient city car that follows conventional principles of car design. In very much it relies on Murray's experience with Formula 1 car design.
To become a "Project-M", T-25 was put through the extensive redesign. It resulted in greatly improved aerodynamics, with drag coefficient dropped to 0.29 from 0.37, and 80 kg weight loss which puts the car on exactly 550 kilograms of curb weight. Composite body panels from T-25 have been dropped in favor of carbon fiber panels and also all the other components were re-designed to keep weight as low as possible.
It is powered by very light Smart three-cylinder petrol engine which was overhauled by ex Honda Formula 1 engineer Osamu Goto. Goto's "Geo Technology" helped to achieve minimized friction of inner parts and maximized engine efficiency but important role was also played by the Shell petrol company which developed special lubricants to reach desired goal. Consequently also the fuel economy droped from 2.94 to 2.67 liters per 100 kilometers.