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 fantastic original Aerotech I carried race-driving champ A.J. Foyt to record-breaking speeds in August 1987, it was more of an engineering project than a design exercise.
A year and a half later, a pair of spinoffs made their debut at the North American International Show in Detroit. Oldsmobile's goal was to apply some of the techniques used in the 267-mph single-seat Aerotech I to realistic vehicles that might carry passengers on real highways.
Aerotech II, a hybrid coupe/wagon on a lengthened GM-10 platform, looked like it belonged in the next century. Ties to the original racing model were evident in its flowing lines. The Aerotech III sedan, on the other hand, was a lot closer to earth and might well have been the forerunner of the next generation of Oldsmobile's Cutlass Supreme.
If nothing else, many of the Oldsmobile Aerotech concept car's high-tech features were expected to appear on real-life Oldsmobiles as they were perfected. Some of the electronic helpers, in fact, were merely advanced versions of gadgetry that was already being produced. The head-up driver's information display, for instance, which projects speedometer figures onto a holographic simulation that appears to float at the car's front end, was a future version of the system offered in some Cutlass Supremes. And the color visual information center was similar to the one used in contemporary Toronados. The Oldsmobile Aerotech concept car's version included advanced navigation functions, using compact discs to program map information.
The Oldsmobile Aerotech II concept car offered other features derived from the original Aerotech. Keep reading to learn about them.For more on concept cars and the production models they forecast, check out: