The first Aerotech concepts from 1987/1988 aimed to launch the new Quad4 engine with a bang: via a hypercar record-breaker with amazing low-drag and lightweight design.
The two original Aerotech concepts showed exciting design ideas for 1990s GM models like the Camaro and Firebirds of 1992, plus some cool cabin tech like a clear heads-up display panel and single-seat layout.
The third goal? A really cool Oldsmobile brand builder.
This was even more sought-after in 1992.
Oldsmobile updated and revamped the Aerotech to include modern shrouded lighting, an even more streamlined design, and more pronounced Oldsmobile branding. This resulting car had a big secret under its huge canopy, too.
Instead of the Quad4 engine that achieved more than 260-mph in 1987, the AeroTech II debuted the 4.0-liter V8 Oldsmobile had up its sleeve for the Aurora launch in 1994.
The design of the Aerotech can clearly be seen in the Aurora sedan, and helped that high-priced model receive serious launch buzz as a worthy Cadillac and Lexus rival in the mid-1990s.
As a spotters guide: both the long- and short-tail 1980s Aerotech concepts lacked headlamps, while the 1992 is only a long-tail with headlamps.
The 1987 and 1988 Oldsmobile Aerotech concepts were a high-speed R&D showcase, branding exercise and new engine launch in one.
The hypercar style of the car was a direct result of the engineering goals: to help this 160-horsepower Quad4 engine power the car to a world-record top speed.
Surely that would never be enough to hit even 200-mph?
In fact, the car hit 267.99-mph the day before setting the official closed-course world record on 257-mph on August 27, 1987. A short-tail Aerotech ST wears full venturi air channels under a flipped-up and chopped rear end. This short-tail wore a single wing spoiler to keep things planted to the pavement at these huge speeds.
The 1988 Aerotech LT, for long-tail, was similar in these but had tweaks throughout to lessen weight, improve stability and hopefully capture another world record.
By this time, the Quad4 engine was launched with great fanfare as it entered production in many more humdrum production cars, but the Aerotech legacy and influence on future Oldsmobiles would return in 1992.
The concepts were a huge hit on the auto show circuit as well as the racetrack.
1987 Oldsmobile Aerotech
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
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