Nissan Unveils the Le Mans Racer DeltaWing

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Dubbed as “this generation’s most revolutionary and exciting motorsport project,” Nissan recently unveiled its Keaton-era Batmobile-like racecar –– the DeltaWing. The racecar gearing up for this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race in June.

However, Nissan and other major contributors already know that it has no chance of winning the race. That’s because the automobile doesn’t have direct competitors and will not conform to any existing championship regulations. Moreover, the DeltaWing will race with the number ‘0’ on its body. It will also run from ‘Garage 56,’ the pit plane spot reserved for experimental competitors.

Nissan DeltaWing: Features

The Nissan DeltaWing was developed by British designer Ben Bowlby, US motorsport businessman Don Panoz, former US Formula 1 racer Dan Gurney, Highcroft Racing Team and Michelin Tyres North America.

It’s powered by 1.6-litre four cylinder Direct Injection Gasoline – Turbocharged Nissan Engine. The DIT-G engine will produce approximately 224kW of power. Although it’ll produce just half of the power coming from LMP1 and LMP2 cars, it’s expected that the experimental racecar will achieve lap times of these kinds of automobiles.

The DeltaWing measures half the weight and half the aerodynamic drag of a conventional racecar. The driver sit is almost at the rear axle, viewing the long and narrow fuselage. The thin twin front tires are designed by Michelin, and the car’s entire weight is at the rear, which makes it easy to maneuver.

Although the design and feature of Nissan DeltaWing looks promising, the entire team should be wary about its aerodynamics. With the entire car’s weight found at the rear, they have to make sure that the front won’t life over in a slipstream. Regardless, the 2012 Le Mans race will prove its capabilities.

Demonstrating the Possible Reduction of All Consumptions

The Nissan DeltaWing was not designed to be next big thing in the race track. It was created to demonstrate the feasibility of reducing all consumptions (fuel, oil, tires) without reducing performance. Andy Palmer, executive vice president for Nissan Motor Co., also added that DeltaWing could mold the future of endurance motorsport. He insisted that the car’s research and development work will filter down the car manufacturer’s future car range production.

According to Bowlby:

It’s a spectacular piece. We’ve got the engine of our dreams. It’s the right weight, has the right power and it’s phenomenally efficient.

Briton Marino Franchitti and reigning FIA GT1 world champion Michael Krumm will pilot the Nissan DeltaWing. Its first public demo laps will take place on March 15 at Sebring, Florida.

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