The goal was to make a four passenger show car capable of 100 miles per US gallon (2.4 L/100 km; 120 mpg-imp). It was rated at 88 miles per US gallon (2.7 L/100 km; 106 mpg-imp) by the EPA, but could achieve 100 miles per US gallon (2.4 L/100 km; 120 mpg-imp) at a steady state cruising speed of 50 mph.
The carbon fiber shell was fabricated by Scaled Composites and it weighed only 420 pounds (191 kg). The total weight of the car was 1,400 pounds (635 kg).
The car had gullwing doors and no B-pillar. The Cd was 0.19, significantly lower comparing to production cars of the decade.
Its 3 cylinder 1.5 L 2-stroke engine could produce 111 hp (83 kW), which made a speed of 135 mph (217 km/h) possible. The car could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 8 seconds.
Due to the unusual design the Ultralite has been featured in several science fiction productions, most prominently among them was in the 1993 film Demolition Man as the squad cars used by the fictional SAPD (San Angeles Police Department). They also appeared in the second episode of the second season of seaQuest DSV, and in the 1999 movie Bicentennial Man.