GM Unveils Concept Car That Gets 108 Miles A Gallon

DETROIT - January 11, 2000 - General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM) today unveiled the Precept advanced class vehicle, in both hybrid and fuel cell powered forms, at the North American International Auto Show at Detroit's Cobo Center. The Precept is the latest demonstration of GM's capability and commitment to building vehicles that will ultimately help to remove the automobile from the environmental debate.

The Precept is an example of the type of ultra-high-efficiency architecture that GM is developing on its way toward putting millions of environmentally friendly vehicles on the road. The key to GM's advanced vehicles strategy is to focus on a number of options for clean transportation solutions, not just one.

The parallel-hybrid Precept uses the most aerodynamically efficient design in the world, with a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.163, 20 percent less aerodynamic drag than the production record-holder, the GM EV1 (0.19). Its four-wheel drive, dual-axle set-up features a 35kW three-phase electric motor driving the front wheels and a lean-burn compression-ignition, direct-injection (CIDI) heat engine driving the rear wheels.

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General Motors Vice-Chairman Harry Pearce poses next to the Precept, a fuel cell powered vehicle, that breaks the 100 mile-per-gallon barrier with a stunning 108mpg. The Precept was introduced at the 2000 North American International Auto Show in Detroit 1/11. The Hydride Hydrogen storage system can deliver up to a 500 mile range.

January 1, 2000 - REUTERS

General Motors Corp. Saturday unveiled an experimental, teardrop-shaped sedan called the Precept, which is capable of getting 80 miles per gallon. The GM Precept, an experimental sedan built by General Motors Corp. travels about 80 miles on a gallon of gasoline.

Both the five-passenger Precept and the Prodigy by Ford Motor Co. will make their official debuts at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, which opens to the media on Jan. 9. Ford provided the first glimpse of the Prodigy, which gets more than 70 miles per gallon, on Dec. 29.

The cars were developed under the federally sponsored Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV). Members of the industry-government collaboration, launched in 1994, are committed to building by 2004 production-ready prototypes that can offer triple the fuel economy of a typical family sedan without sacrificing performance.

Company officials say the Precept and Prodigy will probably never go into mass-production because of their high costs. But some of the advanced fuel-economy technology could wind up in consumer-ready cars and trucks.

"Eighty miles per gallon really pushes you to the edge of the envelope," said Robert Purcell, executive director of GM's Advanced Technology Vehicles. "Pieces of what we've got in Precept could find their way into production vehicles."

The hybrid-electric Precept is driven by a battery-powered electric traction system that moves the front wheels, and a lightweight, 1.3-liter, 3-cylinder diesel engine in the rear. The direct-injection engine, featuring turbocharged compression ignition, was developed by Isuzu Motor Co. Ltd., one of GM's Asian affiliates.

GM has developed the electric motor to run off either a nickel metal hydride battery, like the kind used in the new version of its EV1 electric car, or a lithium polymer battery. The electric traction system also captures energy from braking and sends it back to the battery.

Designers of the Precept took their overall design cues from the EV1 and constructed the car to be as aerodynamic as possible. Exterior door handles have been eliminated, and outside mirrors were replaced by a camera system. Because front-facing grills create wind drag, the Precept has special air
openings behind the rear wheels.

The Ford Prodigy also has cameras instead of side-view mirrors. It has a more conventional look, featuring a body style similar to some luxury cars made by Germany's Audi.

The Prodigy, based on the P2000 LSR that Ford introduced in October, uses a 1.2-liter, 4-cylinder diesel engine and nickel-metal hydride battery. Use of lightweight materials such as aluminum and titanium have brought the car's weight to 2,387 pounds, about 1,000 pounds less than a modern family sedan.

"The vehicle represents an interim stage between our P2000 research programs and the development of an affordable, production hybrid in 2003," said Neil Ressler, Ford's vice president of research and vehicle technology.

The U.S. government is estimated to have spent about $240 million on PNGV projects last year. GM, Ford and DaimlerChrysler AGspent close to $1 billion, industry officials estimate. DaimlerChrysler will not show a PNGV vehicle at the Detroit auto show, but is on track to have one ready to meet the 2000
concept timetable.

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