Why The Nissan DeltaWing Cannot Win Le Mans

Nissan’s futuristic racing concept, the DeltaWing, is certainly in a class of one in Le Mans…except, it can’t win. With a telltale “0” displayed on each side, the DeltaWing is not a competitive exhibition racecar in the luxury racing event.

It may not be permitted to compete, but the DeltaWing concept does get the benefit of extreme exposure at the big race, flaunting its stuff in the mix of top players!

Nissan DeltaWing

“Garage 56″ spot at Le Mans is reserved for the Nissan DeltaWing

Some call the DeltaWing the future of racing, as it is part road racer, part salt-flat runner, and boasts the aesthetics of the Batmobile. This concept car trumps other endurance racecars with more aerodynamics and uses about half of the fuel than others in its class.

Nissan DeltaWing

Rear view of Nissan DeltaWing

The DeltaWing is a joint project between former Lola design chief Ben Bowlby and Chip Ganassi Racing, and pitched as the future of IndyCar. This is ironic, because IndyCar actually passed on the DeltaWing’s design, dubbing it far to radical and sticking with the same-ole Dallara chassis it has used for eons.

Watch the racecar in action at Le Mans in the short clip above!

Ben Bowlby, racing legend Dan Gurney and Don Panoz were not phased by IndyCar’s rejection and continued with the concept. Nissan then joined the team, generously supplying its name to the project and supplying the powerful engine—the turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-banger from the Juke, modified to put out 300 horses. Finished off with a light carbon-fiber chassis, the Delta is definitely fit for the track!

Nissan DeltaWing

According to Andy Palmer, executive VP at Nissan,
“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.”
Nissan DeltaWing

The future of racing?


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