GM Precept Hybrid
General Motors 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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.