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General Motors Lean Machine 1982

Automobiles from 1980 > Extra about cars in 1980

If you’ve seen the 1993 futuristicaction movie Demolition Man, you might be familiar with General Motors’ Lean Machine. It was created by GM’s Frank Winchell, as a study for a singleseater commuter vehicle-car-like in use and stability, but offering motorcycle dimensions and maneuverability. So the narrow Lean Machine had a fixed lower “power pod” section with two rear wheels, but a single wheel leading a separate upper “passenger pod” that pivoted from side to side in corners so the driver could lean into them like a biker. The ovular Lean Machine was compact and weatherproof, and the second of two versions built was said to reach 60mph (97kph) from standstill in 6.8 seconds. Inside, it sported handlebar controls, with throttle and brakes also hand-operated. The angle of lean, however, was controlled by pedals. The Lean Machine was never a likely candidate for showrooms, despite General Motors’ insistence that they considered it in 1989 for possible marketing in congested California. Its star turn came alongside 16 other GM concept cars, valued at $69 million, in Demolition Man.

General Motors Lean Machine 1982
YEAR REVEALED  
1982
PLACE OF ORIGIN  Detroit, Michigan
HISTORICAL STATUS  prototype
ENGINE  V2-cylinder, 46ci (750cc)
MAXIMUM POWER  30bhp
LAYOUT  rear-mounted engine driving the rear wheels
BODYWORK  single-canopy, single-seater sedan
TOP SPEED  unknown
NUMBER BUILT  two

General Motors Lean Machine 1982
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