Mobil 1: A 40 Year History of Protection, Partnership and Performance

 18th Nov 2014

2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the commercial introduction of the Mobil 1 brand. Since 1974, Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil has continued elevating the benchmark for delivering outstanding protection and performance from an automotive engine oil. Decade after decade, the Mobil 1 brand’s relationships with automakers and award-winning race teams have grown and evolved into true automotive design and innovation partnerships.

Over the years, ExxonMobil scientists have continued to assess chemical components and develop formulations to ensure Mobil 1 branded products are the most technologically advanced motor oils.

According to Rebecca Pearson, global passenger vehicle lubricants brand manager, Mobil 1’s story really begins in the latter half of the 1960s, when the US government asked ExxonMobil to synthesize a lubricant for aircraft landing gear that would not freeze at temperatures as low as -40° F. Synthetic Mobilgrease™ 28 was developed and is still used to this day in aircraft applications worldwide.

“Encouraged by their success and the realization that synthetic oil has many high-performance qualities beyond low-temperature applications, ExxonMobil formed a special lubricant technology team in 1971,” adds Pearson. “The team’s work ultimately resulted in the development of the first Mobil 1 fully synthetic motor oil.”

Powerful Engine Protection

In 1974, when Mobil 1 synthetic engine oil was officially born, it was released to safely enhance fuel-efficiency. Later formulations aimed to provide protection over the widest range of temperatures and driving conditions, and another iteration lowered phosphorus levels for extended catalytic converter life. As the Mobil 1 motor oil line expanded, its reputation for outstanding performance grew as well.

Today, Mobil 1 continues to be the world’s leading synthetic motor oil. There are numerous formulations of Mobil 1 on the market in countries across the globe. These Mobil 1 brands feature outstanding wear protection, excellent high- and low-temperature performance, and protection against sludge and harmful deposits.

Proven Performance

In 1990 ExxonMobil decided to put Mobil 1 to the ultimate challenge ­ the Million Miles Test. A new BMW 325i was filled with Mobil 1 and then run continuously for the next four years ­ stopping only for routine maintenance and servicing. After the equivalent of a million miles of hard driving, the engine
was stripped and examined. What they found was astonishing: there was no sign of any significant wear. Not only was the engine still in excellent working order, most parts were still within BMW’s tolerance for “new.”

World-Class Partnership

Today the Mobil 1 brand is widely recognized and endorsed by many of the world’s leading automotive designers and manufacturers, championship-winning motorsports teams and consumers alike. In fact, Mobil 1 is the factory-fill selection for more than 60 vehicle models all over the world including Porsche, Mercedes-AMG, Aston Martin, Bentley, McLaren and more.

Trackside, Mobil 1 technology reigns as the lubricant of choice for race teams competing in the world’s most popular and demanding motorsports series. The Mobil 1 brand’s long history in motorsports officially began in 1978 with a sponsorship of Williams Formula One Racing Team. Mobil 1 and the Williams team went on to win five titles in that first season (three World Constructors’ and two World Drivers’ Championships). Since then, Mobil 1’s visibility on motorsports tracks and circuits has grown exponentially.

Mobil 1 currently enjoys a long association with many of the world's most popular and successful race teams, including Stewart-Haas Racing in NASCAR’s® Sprint Cup Series, Corvette Racing’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship team and the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup¯the world’s fastest international one-make series. Mobil 1 is also the official motor oil of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). As the "Official Motor Oil of NASCAR" for the 12th consecutive season, ExxonMobil is proud that more than 50 percent of NASCAR teams rely on Mobil 1 lubricant technology.

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of Mobil 1’s relationship with the McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 Team. For two decades, McLaren Mercedes has used high-performance Mobil 1 lubricants and has received full-time trackside engineering support from the team behind Mobil 1 at every race. Together, the Mobil 1-McLaren technology partnership has amassed an impressive 342 races, 231 podiums, 78 victories and 4 world championships.

“The introduction of Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil was a revolution in engine oil technology,” said Bill Maxwell, former senior engineering advisor, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company and considered one of the fathers of Mobil 1. “It vastly improved the performance of automobile engines and raised drivers’ expectations of motor oil all over the world.” *

ExxonMobil has been improving automotive lubricant technology for more than 100 years. With the goal of ensuring that automobiles ­ from high performance sports cars to everyday vehicles ­ receive the best in engine protection and performance, the company continues to invest in one of its greatest achievements over the last century, the Mobil 1 brand.

*Bill Maxwell quote taken from an interview on the Mobil 1 brand website.


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