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The GM Ultralite prototype was unveiled to the public in Detroit in January '92, with air conditioning, self-leveling air suspension, and hit 60mph in 8s.

Cars

The GM Ultralite — 1400 lbs, 100 MPG, and You Can’t Have It

The GM Ultralite prototype was unveiled to the public in Detroit in January ’92, with air conditioning, self-leveling air suspension, and hit 60mph in 8s.

 

Every now and then, the 90s show up with something amazing and far less well known than it should have been, and we all taste bitter regret at what could have been. This is the case with the GM Ultralite, a 1400 lb car that got up to 100mpg, two decades ago. No, really.

The GM Ultralite prototype was unveiled to the public in Detroit in January ’92, with working air conditioning, self-leveling air suspension, and even the ability to hit 60mph in 8 seconds (which, given how economic it was on fuel use, is remarkably quick).

And yet:

It is, by any measure, an incredible achievement, and GM reportedly looked into actually building it on a small scale before corporate priorities changed. With California law dictating that GM would have to build zero-emissions vehicles, the Ultralite concept was shelved in favor of development of the EV1. And we all know how that turned out.

Head on over to our sister site, Gas2, for the rest of the reasons GM never made this lean, efficient machine.

Source: Gas2
Image Credit: Gas2


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Written By

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.

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