The Chaparral 2X concept is a laser-powered wingsuit on wheels
Maybach isn’t the only historic brand to be brought back from the dead at the 2014 L.A. Motor Show. The Chaparral name is one fondly remembered by many: despite only building cars for a 7-year period in the 1960s, the company brought many now-standard engineering practices to the motorsport world. These include the composite monocoque chassis and active aerodynamics; one technology that didn’t quite achieve widespread adoption was the ‘ground-sucking’ system of the legendary 2J, which used a snowmobile engine and a skirt set-up to vacuum the car to the track.
Flat-out driving experience
Like many of its predecessors, the Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo – designed for the same computer game as the Aston Martin DP-100 – has a pioneering party trick. A laser propulsion system driven by lithium-ion batteries and an air-powered generator would theoretically create shockwaves powerful enough to produce 671kW, fit to take the 2X VGT from 0-60mph in 1.5 seconds, and on to a v-max of 240mph. The driver lies face down with his (or her) limbs splayed out towards the wheels (‘think wingsuit’, says Chevrolet), with instruments projected onto their helmet visor. Meanwhile, downforce thrust vectoring makes this the ‘sucker-car’ of the 21st Century.
This might all seem like a pointless flight of fancy, but Chaparral’s legacy was built on its revolutionary approach to engineering. When F1 ditches turbo V6s for laser propulsion systems, you know who to thank.
Photos / Video: Chevrolet