Jun 13, 2012
Motorsport fans know that racing is not just about speed, winning or endurance. Rather, racing events are aimed at developing automotive technology, which includes fuel efficiency, alternative fuels and the like. Take for instance Formula One, with its use of naturally-aspirated engines and production-grade fuel. Sure, they’re prototypes. But technologies from the major racing organizations eventually trickle down to production cars like the ones we drive every day.
With this in mind, one of the latest developments in racing involves what can be considered a radical departure from racing car designs. The DeltaWing, developed by Nissan, NISMO, DeltaWing Racing Cars, All American Riders, Highcroft Racing and the International Motor Sports Association, looks more like the now-defunct Space Shuttle than a racing car. Debuting at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this June, the DeltaWing will be using the car’s underchassis and shape to create downforce, rather than use front and rear wings. At 500 Kg, the car is significantly lighter than other Le Mans racecars, and about the same weight as a Foruma One car.
At first glance, the DeltaWing looks like it only runs on four wheels, which could be problematic in cornering. But it actually has four wheels, with the front wheelbase at 0.6 meters, and the front tyres having a width of 10 cm. Powered by a 1.6 liter turbocharged engine, the DeltaWing produces 300 BHP — not too big for a racecar , but weight, aerodynamics and design can perhaps compensate for this deficiency.
Check out the video from Road & Track below.