Oldsmobile History: Aerotech I Concept 1987

Oldsmobile History: Aerotech I Concept,  The 1987 Oldsmobile Aerotech I concept car development process owed much to Bill Porterfield, the ...

Oldsmobile History: Aerotech I Concept, The 1987 Oldsmobile Aerotech I concept car development process owed much to Bill Porterfield, the General Motors engineer in charge of the original Aerotech high-speed project.
The path from concept car to possible production car can take many forms, and it certainly did with the 1987 Oldsmobile Aerotech concept car.


When the original Aerotech fantastic career took champion AJ Foyt driving a speed record in August 1987, it was more of an engineering project in a design exercise.
A year and a half later, a pair of spin-offs made its debut at the North American International Show in Detroit. Oldsmobile goal was to implement some of the techniques used in the 267 mile per hour in a single seat for vehicles Aerotech realistic passengers can carry on real roads.

 

1987 Oldsmobile Aerotech I Concept Car Development








1987 oldsmobile aerotech concept car long tail
�2007 Publications International, Ltd.
The 1987 Oldsmobile Aerotech I concept car project actually consisted of two versions -- a Long Tail car (foreground) and a Short Tail car (background).


The engine of the Aerotech I was producing about 850 horsepower when A.J. Foyt set the record pace at Fort Stockton Test Center in Texas. Two versions were built: a long tail (LT) with twin turbos, and a short tail (ST) that ran a single turbocharger. The LT reached a peak of 278 miles per hour in one direction, 257 the other way, for an official average of 267.399 mph in the "flying mile."
The Oldsmobile Aerotech concept car could run through the quarter-mile trap in around 8.1 seconds, reaching 181 miles an hour. Chief engineer Ted Louckes noted that Aerotech I was designed around the Quad 4 engine, to demonstrate its capability "in an extreme testing environment" -- and no one could deny that 267 miles an hour was extreme. There were two versions of the Quad Four. The ST "RE" unit, prepared by Batten Heads of Detroit, used a single turbocharger to make an estimated 900 horsepower. The LT "BE" powerplant, built by Fuel Engineering of California, used twin turbos to produce an estimated 1000 horsepower. The Aerotech I body was designed by GM Design staff and was one of the sleekest vehicles ever developed for use on a high speed track. The design of the Aerotech I included the capability of adjusting underbody sections to control the distribution of downforce, front to rear. Oldsmobile produced three versions of the original Aerotech to prove the capabilities of the Quad 4 engine. Two were short-tailed (ST) versions and one was long-tailed (LT).






1987 oldsmobile aerotech concept car long tail
�2007 Publications International, Ltd.
The Long Tail version of the Aerotech I set the 267-mph flying mile speed record in Texas.

Aerotech wasn't a single-company production. A large number of subcontractors were employed for the record-setting Aerotech I project, including one that provided the cockpit's Lexan cover.
A carbon-fiber body sat upon a specially-designed ground-effects Indy-car chassis, and the whole vehicle weighed just 1,600 pounds. High-speed racers need to stick close to the ground and the Oldsmobile Aerotech I concept car was no exception, with an inch or less of airspace between its lowest body point and the ground surface.
A replica of the original Aerotech I toured the 1988 auto shows, while a subdued edition of its Quad 4 engine emerged under the hood of the Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais. This new engine was the first multi-valve powerplant to come from Detroit in recent times. As designer John Perkins said, "concept cars stretch the imagination" and show the public what stylists have in their minds.






1987 oldsmobile aerotech concept car engine
�2007 Publications International, Ltd.

1987 Oldsmobile Aerotech I Concept Car Specifications

The 1987 Oldsmobile Aerotech I concept car held the honor of having not just one but two generations of descendants. As the 1987 Oldsmobile Aerotech I concept car specifications below indicate, those later models had a lot to live up to.






1987 oldsmobile aerotech concept car front view
�2007 Publications International, Ltd.




Manufacturer: Oldsmobile Division, General Motors Corp., Lansing, Michigan 
Body design: 1-passenger, no-door coupe; carbon-fiber body on steel frame 
Power-train layout: mid-engine, rear-wheel drive
Wheelbase: 111.3 inches
Overall length: 192.2 inches
Overall width: 86.0 inches
Overall height: 40.0 inches
Track, front: 66.0 inches
Track, rear: 63.0 inches
Weight: 1,600 pounds
Approximate price: not available
Engine type: turbocharged Quad 4 inline 4-cylinder
Displacement (liters/cu. in.): 2.3/140
Horsepower @ rpm: approx. 850
Torque (lbs./ft.) @ rpm: not available
Fuel delivery: fuel injection
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Suspension, front: not available
Suspension, rear: not available
Brakes: front/rear discs

1987 Oldsmobile Aerotech I Concept Car Performance
Top speed: 267.4 mph
0-60 mph: not available
Quarter-mile: approx. 8.1 seconds
Speed @ quarter-mile: 181 mph
sources: gmheritagecenter; mshf.com
text and images: howstuffworks.com; autowp.ru

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