1988 Oldsmobile Aerotech Concept

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From GM Heritage Center: The Oldsmobile Aerotechs were a series of experimental high-speed vehicles created between 1987 and 1992. They incorporated the latest in performance technology, with the intention of breaking multiple automobile speed records.

The Aerotech I was driven by three-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt to a world closed-course speed record of 257.123 mph on August 26, 1987 at the 7.712-mile test track near Fort Stockton, Texas. Prior to this, on August 26, 1987, the car had posted a top speed over a "Flying Mile" of 267.88 mph. Foyt hit straightaway speeds of 290+ mph, yet never used all the available horsepower. The car consisted of a March Indycar single seat chassis enclosed in an extremely efficient aerodynamic carbon fiber body shell. It was powered by a turbo-charged version of the 2-litre Oldsmobile Quad 4 engine. 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).

Subsequently, from December 6-14, 1992, another version of the Aerotech I, this time powered by a 4.0 litre Oldsmobile Aurora V8 engine and fitted with lights, broke 47 speed endurance records including the 10,000 and 25,000 kilometre world speed records. Other national and international speed records ranging from 10 kilometres to 24 hours were accomplished by a team of drivers working 24 hours a day for 8 days. These records were also set at the Fort Stockton test track. Larry Lysons, Oldsmobile’s chief engineer said breaking the 25,000 kilometer record is similar to running 31 consecutive Indy 500 races at approximately the same pace.

Although USAC (United States Auto Club), ACCUS (Automobile Competition Committee for the US) and FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) rules allow unlimited modifications to engines in this particular event classification, Oldsmobile and GM Powertrain engineers were confident that the state-of-the-art Aurora V8 would succeed in this endurance event without enhancements for durability. The only modifications made helped with engine installation in the Aerotech I. Alternate production camshafts were used to boost the horsepower of the engine. The Aerotech I was equipped with Michelin High-Performance XTG tires.

This same 32-valve, dual overhead cam, V8 engine was teamed with an electronic 4T80-E 4-speed transaxle and is standard in the Aurora Oldsmobile sedan.

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