AUTOS: The New Engine

From General Motors Corp.'s research shops last week came a torpedo-shaped car with a revolutionary new engine. Called the XP-50O, the car is powered by a 250-h.p. "free-piston" engine that many Detroit engineers think may be the intermediate stage between today's piston-engine cars and tomorrow's gas turbines.

The principle of the free-piston engine has been known for more than 30 years, and has been applied in Europe for locomotives, ships and stationary power plants. But, says G.M.'s President Harlow Curtice, G.M. "is the first to put it to work in an automobile." The heart of the G.M. engine is two...

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