SPECIAL: The history and development of Motul 300V

Images by Frederik Herregods

SPECIAL: The history and development of Motul 300V

Since the company’s inception in 1853, Motul has focused on producing oils that are purpose-built for their given tasks. In the years following the Industrial Revolution, Motul’s engineers sought out every engine configuration they could get their hands on, creating specialized development approach that would later become the foundation for modern lubricant technology. Innovation became a defining principle of the company, typified by milestones like the world’s first multi-grade motor oil as well as the first semi-synthetic oil, launched in 1953 and 1966, respectively.

In 1971, Motul introduced another breakthrough invention to the world with 300V. The brainchild of the late Michel Sinson, who served as Motul’s Technical Director and dedicated more than four decades of his career to the formulation of Motul products, 300V was the first full-synthetic oil designed specifically for use in automotive applications and was named for the 300 racing victories the company had accomplished up to that point.

Capitalizing on advancements that were originally developed for the aviation industry, Motul was also the first lubricant manufacturer to use ester technology for the formulation of its fully synthetic automotive oils. Initially composed of vegetable oils and animal fat, the inherent lubricating properties of these organic compounds offered benefits in anti-shear quality, as well as exceptional resistance to high temperatures – characteristics which are vital in extreme use-cases. Now the designation of Motul’s flagship range, 300V has seen continuous advancement thanks to the company’s involvement at the highest levels of motorsport. The racetrack has become the ultimate proving grounds for Motul, an effort that has benefited teams and builders alike.

“The biggest advantage about working with Motul is that instead of buying off-the-shelf engine oils, we now have access to a lab and engineers who can help us develop and produce bespoke products for our needs,” explained Ian Lovett of Gibson Technology, the contract engine supplier for the LMP2 class in the FIA World Endurance Championship. “That is the biggest plus for our company.”

By now the rigors of endurance racing have become the stuff of legend, often pushing both driver and machine beyond the breaking point. Reliability plays a pivotal role in a team’s success, and few motorsport events illustrate this crucial element of a racing program like the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Over the years Motul has served as a technical partner to the series and a number of teams that have competed at the annual endurance event, many of which have gone on to secure spots on the podium, as both Graff-SO24 and United Autosports did in 2018. That same year Motul also became the official motor oil of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge in the United States. After more than six decades of involvement in racing at Le Mans, it was the next logical step for a supplier with such a passion for endurance racing.

And that tradition continues as excitement ramps up for four days of sports car racing at the 22nd annual Motul Petit Le Mans on October 9-12 at Road Atlanta, an event which will culminate in a 10-hour race where a full field of IMSA contenders will duke it out for the season finale and the championship decider.

And in emblematic fashion, Motul will use the lessons learned at the track to help develop their next generation of innovative, race-proven products.

To learn more, visit Motul.com.