Concepts from Future Past: Oldsmobile Aerotech

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Written by Paul Strauss | December 10, 2023
Concepts from Future Past: Oldsmobile Aerotech

Say the name “Oldsmobile,” and it doesn’t exactly conjure images of powerful sports cars. But back in 1987, the company stamped its name on this futuristic-looking hypercar, dubbed the Aerotech. Built in several iterations between 1987 and 1992, the Aerotech wasn’t a concept for a production vehicle but was designed and built as an experimental test vehicle – with its sights set on breaking automotive speed records.

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The 1600-pound car was built with an extremely slippery carbon fiber body shell and a unique adjustable underbody, which allowed downforce distribution to be tweaked from front to rear. It was powered by a special turbocharged variant of Oldsmobile’s Quad 4 engine, based on the same engine found in the Cutlass Calais of its era. The first variant of the Aerotech had a single turbocharger that output about 900 horsepower, while a later variant would have twin turbos and hit an astounding 1000 horsepower. In 1992, the car would be fitted with a 4.0-liter Olds Aurora V8 and broke a number of speed endurance records.

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In 1987, the Aerotech I was driven by Indy 500 champ A.J. Foyt to break the closed-course speed record, achieving an impressive top speed of 257.123mph on a 7+ mile test track. On a straightaway, Foyt reportedly pushed the car over 290 mph.

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More recently, theĀ Oldsmobile Aerotech was on display atĀ the GM Heritage Center in Sterling Heights, Michigan, though it’s unclear if it remains there at this time.

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