Nissan has just announced its official partnership with the bizarre yet impressive DeltaWing project, with plans to take the fighter-jet styled race car to this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.
Using a unique layout with the two forward wheels located next to each other in a center section, rather than at the outer corners, the driver sits almost over the rear axle with a rear-mounted engine. That engine, developed by Nissan is a turbocharged and direct-injection 1.6-liter 4-cylidner that produces around 300 hp. While half the weight of a typical Le Mans prototype, it’s expected to have lap times roughly between those of the LMP1 and LMP2 prototypes due to its light weight and aerodynamics.
“As motor racing rulebooks have become tighter over time, racing cars look more and more similar and the technology used has had less and less relevance to road car development. Nissan DeltaWing aims to change that…” said Andy Palmer, Executive Vice President, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. “Nissan DeltaWing embodies a vast number of highly-innovative ideas that we can learn from. At the same time, our engineering resources and commitment to fuel efficiency leadership via our PureDrive strategy will help develop DeltaWing into a testbed of innovation for Nissan”.
Designed by Ben Bowlby, other contributors to the project include Don Panoz, Dan Gurney, Michelin Tyres North America and Highcroft Racing.
Set to take to the race track at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 16-17, the DeltaWing will be piloted by British driver Marino Franchitti and current FIA GT1 World Champion, and Nissan driver, Michael Krumm. The car won’t be competing for points, or the overall title, however, and will race as an experimental prototype wearing the number O.
Until then, the nagging question of the DeltaWing has been: can it turn? A valid point considering its lop-sided looks; for the answer, watch the video below.
GALLERY: Nissan DeltaWing
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