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The Firebird II, a four-seat family car, was introduced by General Motors in 1956. It is a low and wide design with two large air intakes at the front, a high bubble canopy top, and a vertical tail fin. Its exterior bodywork was made entirely of titanium (which turned out to be hard to make). The engine output was 200 hp (150 kW), and to solve the exhaust heat problem it was fed through a regenerative system, which allowed the entire engine to operate at nearly 1,000 °F (538 °C) cooler, and also power the accessories. Kerosene was the most common fuel used. Another innovation on the car was the first use of four wheel disc brakes, with a fully independent suspension, as well as a sophisticated guidance system which was intended to be used with "the highway of the future", where an electrical wire would be embedded into a roadway to send signals that would help guide future cars and avoid accidents.

Specifications

  • Wheelbase = 120 in (3,048 mm)
  • Length = 234.7 in (5,961 mm)
  • Ground clearance = 5.5 in (140 mm)