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1956 GM XP-500

GM XP-500, 1956
GM XP-500, 1956
GM XP-500, 1956
GM XP-500, 1956
GM XP-500, 1956
GM XP-500, 1956
GM XP-500, 1956
GM XP-500, 1956
GM XP-500, 1956
GM XP-500, 1956
GM XP-500, 1956
GM XP-500, 1956
GM XP-500, 1956
GM XP-500, 1956
Images: Custom_Cab's photostream; General Motors Archive
Rating:  13    -1    +14
XP-500 Free Piston Automobile
The General Motors XP-500 was the world’s first free piston automobile. It was an experimental vehicle built by the General Motors Research Laboratories that was completed and announced to the public in 1956 after 14 months of development. As it was finished just prior to the GM Technical Center dedication ceremony, it was featured at the exhibition day and on the national television broadcast that covered the event.

The XP-500 was similar in style to the gas-turbine powered Firebird II. It had a rounded all-glass roof like the Firebird II. The hood sloped down from the windshield to the low, horizontal grille opening and opened to reveal the engine compartment that housed the flat Hyprex engine.. The rear fenders had a wing-like quality and arched back over the wheels toward the tail of the vehicle.

The XP-500 was powered by the GM 4-4 Hyprex engine. The engine consisted of two parallel cylinders, each containing a set of two horizontally opposed pistons. An air-fuel charge fired between the pistons and the compressed air that was created by this action was piped into a turbine that helped power the drive train. This engine had an output of 250 horsepower.

Because of technical shortcomings and more promising research in other areas of alternative propulsion, General Motors halted further development on the free piston automobile within three years of the XP-500’s completion.
Source: wiki.gmnext.com
Comments
Dan
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Very very Cool! Maybe Jay Leno could turn his tech staff loose on the idea and build a 21st century version.
Dan
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Jay Leno's tech staff need to build a 21st century version of this dream car. Be a big hit at auto show like the tank car.
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