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Published on Sep 18, 2010
Debut at the North American Auto Show in Detroit in January 1992, the centerpeace of the General Motors exhibit, the running fully functional GM Ultralite was designed and constructed by a great project team of GM engineers, designers, stylists, researchers and Scaled Composites' Burt Rutan. Commissioned and inspired by GM execs, Bob DeKruyff, Don Runkle, Gary Dickinsen, Chuck Jordan, Lloyd Reuss and Bob Stemple, the project team had less than four months. A CD of 0.19, weight around 1400 pounds, seating for four, fully airconditioned, load-leveling air suspension , powered by a GM experimental three cylinder two stroke engine on unleaded pump gas, mated with a computer controlled four speed automatic trans. 0 to 60 mph around 8 seconds with over 100 MPG at highway speeds. I personally drove this vehicle for hundreds of miles on GM proving ground test roads and on the streets of southern CA during the filming of the movie Demotliton Man.
A second roller chasis body was constructed intended for full engineering ongoing development. However, a major GM corporate change happened: the project team was disbanded, the execs retired or reassigned and the R&D was stopped. The Ultralite project was placed into the GM archives where it stays to this day..