1987 Pontiac Pursuit Concept Car

I was there...

Tell us your story >

Written by Bill Bowman

The 1987 Pontiac Pursuit concept car was a two door, four place coupe with a removable roof, 187.9 inch overall length and a 117.4 inch wheelbase. It was powered with a 4 cylinder, 16 valve, twin cam, 2 liter, intercooled, turbocharged 200hp engine.

The Pursuit was steered by a unique Saginaw “steer by wire” system. Two 24-volt electric motors provided the power to steer the Pursuit’s four wheels through front and rear rack and pinion steering gears. Unlike conventional automobile steering systems with a shaft connecting the steering wheel to the axle, the Pursuit had all electric wiring leading to sensors, which relayed the car’s speed and steering wheel angle to the electronic control module. The module determined when and how much each set of wheels should turn and in which direction. Electric four-wheel steer improved handling and maneuverability at all speeds, particularly in driveways and parking lots, and better transient handling performance at high speeds.

Flush designed wheel skirts enclosed the wheels in sleeves, which moved outward, and inward as the tires turned, aerodynamically reducing turbulence. The skirts were easily removable for access to the tires. The Pursuit’s four-wheel independent suspension system included forged aluminum upper and lower control arms with horizontally mounted, race car type spring and shock assemblies with inflatable air chambers. To compensate for Pursuits 3.00-inch road clearance, these air chambers could be inflated manually or automatically to raise the vehicle up to a 6.00-inch normal clearance level, depending on road conditions. The driver could manually override the system to provide maximum ground clearance by activating the compressor to inflate the four corner pneumatic shocks to the full up position. A switch on the steering pod activated the automatic active pneumatic suspension system, which controlled body roll, pitch and dive. The system consisted of four-wheel height sensors and the control module, which inflated one or more shocks depending on the information relayed from the sensors to the electronic control module. This system permitted automatic lowering of the vehicle for improved aerodynamics and fuel economy on smooth, high-speed roadways; and automatically raised the vehicle at lower speeds and on bumpy surfaces.

Pursuit was equipped with anti-lock brakes (ABS) coupled with a system of acceleration traction control. The latter system eliminated tire spinning when one or more tires experience reduced traction. Rear tires on the Pursuit were Goodyear P255/50VR17 with P185/70VR14 on the front. The puncture-proof tires’ unique tread design optimized all-weather traction with dry pavement ultimate handling, acceleration and brake performance. Pursuit had full-time all wheel drive, with a Getrag 5 speed manual gearbox.

Steering unit controls featured fingertip access with a head up display featuring speed and tachometer readings. The right rear seat contained a built in child seat. On the back of the front seats headrests, two portable color television sets with headphones were available for rear passenger entertainment.

GMWiki Player

Video Courtesy of General Motors Archive

Tag Cloud

1897-1909 Creation  1910-1930 Acceleration  1931-1958 Emotion  1959-1981 Revolution  1982-1999 Globalization  2000-Future Transformation  AC Spark Plug  Advertising & Marketing  Allison Engineering Company  Alternative Fuels  Alternative Materials  Alternative Propulsion  Anniversaries  Autoshows  Behind the Scenes  Beyond North America  Board of Directors  Brands & Products  Buick  Cadillac  Celebrities  Chevrolet  Color & Trim  Competitions  Concept Vehicles  Corporate Responsibility  DELCO  DELCO Electronics  Dealers & Distributors  Design  Design Centers  Detroit Diesel  Diversity  Education  Electromotive  Electronics  Emblems & Logos  Employees  Endurance  Energy Conservation  Engineering  Enthusiasts  Environment & Energy  Eras  Executives  Finance  Firsts  Fisher Body  Former Divisions  Frigidaire  GMAC  GMC  GMOO - GM Overseas Operations  GM Daewoo  HUMMER  Headquarters  Holden  Hughes Electronics  I was there...  Innovation & Technology  Innovators  Joint Ventures  LaSalle  Labor  Manufacturing  Mergers & Acquisitions  Methods & Techniques  Motorama  Oakland  Oldsmobile  OnStar  Opel  Operating Units  Pace Vehicles  Parade of Progress  People  Places  Plants  Pollution Control  Pontiac  Powertrain  Proving Grounds  Racing  Research  Retirees  Saab  Safety  Sales & Service  Saturn  Shows & Events  Specific Races  Sponsorships  Studios  Suppliers  Technical Centers  Ternstedt  The Business  Trends  United Motors  Vauxhall  World's Fairs