picture postLong before less was more

1969 GM XP 512G and 512E concepts


1969 GM XP 512G and 512E concepts

In 1969, General Motors debuted the XP 512E and 512G concepts. They were half of a quartet of nano-sized concept cars shown by GM that year. Not shown are the three-wheeled Delta 511 and a third variant of these two 512 concepts.

1969 GM XP 512G and 512E concepts

The mood lighting at GM’s Heritage Center is visually intoxicating but the subject cars can be better assessed under the fluorescents. Though they have the same footprint, most everything else about them is different.

1969 GM XP 512E concepts

Naturally, the “E” in 512E stands for electric. Power figures were unavailable but its 84-volt, lead-acid battery pack powers a Delco-Remy motor and can move the 1,250 pound vehicle 58 miles at 25 mph. Fully recharging from a 115-volt outlet takes 7 hours.

1969 GM XP 512E concepts

The XP 512E concept seats two and was intended for urban environments. Both these 512s share a 52-inch wheelbase and overall length of 86.3 inches.

1969 GM XP 512E concepts

The XP 512E had an enclosed passenger space that was accessed through a canopy-type opening. (The yellow truck to the right in the photo is a Brazilian Chevy that trekked to the U.S. and had its perilous course painted on the hood.)

1969 GM XP 512G concepts

Unlike the XP 512E, the XP 512G is an open top, almost dune buggy-like, ride. It stands 51.9 inches tall and is marginally wider than its brother. But it happens to be the family featherweight at just 950 pounds.

1969 GM XP 512G concepts

Inside the doorless, plastic bodied runabout the dash contains two gauges and a clock behind a foldable windscreen. Mashing the pedal on the right calls forth 12 hp.

1969 GM XP 512G concepts

Of course, the “G” in XP 512G stands for gasoline. Its power comes from two cylinders displacing 0.3-liter (that’s 19.6 cubic inches). Yet, its top speed is 45 mph and has a range of roughly 280 miles.

Here are GM's three XP 512 concept cars. The blue version, not included in the images above, was a hybrid with an on board generator. (Compliments of GM Heritage Center)