Meet Batmobile’s cousin , the Nissan DeltaWing . This unusual V-shaped vehicle is scheduled to compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race this year on June 16 and 17.
Dubbed the “Batmobile” by enthusiasts , the Nissan DeltaWing was developed by British designer Ben Bowlby, US motorsport entrepreneur Don Panoz, former US Formula 1 driver Dan Gurney, the Highcroft Racing Team and Michelin Tyres North America . Now Nissan has just joined the team, adding its name to the project and supplying the engine.
“This announcement gives Nissan the opportunity to become part of a ground-breaking motorsport project and one which could shape the future of the sport,” said Nissan executive vice-president Andy Palmer in a statement.
Andy Palmer further added that the Nissan DeltaWing could shape the future of endurance motorsport, and insists the research and development work going into the car will filter down to Nissan’s future production car range.
Racing Car | Nissan DeltaWing Features
The Nissan DeltaWing team intends to use the vehicle , to showcase its technology. The car has several interesting features
- It has half the weight about 1300 lb
- It has half the aerodynamic drag of conventional racers
- It is being powered by a rear mounted , super efficient 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine
- It expect to use half the amount of fuel as conventional racers despite having only half the power
The sleek Nissan DeltaWing, has a long thin “fuselage” extending to two narrow front tyres aligned close together. The driver sits well back, almost over the rear axle. All the weight is at the rear, which Nissan says makes the DeltaWing highly manoeuvrable.
Racing Car | Nissan Deltawing in Le Mans
Though Nissan DeltaWing is being prepared for the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race in June, it has no chance of winning. The reason is because its concept and design is too radical and does not conform to any existing championship rules and regulations, and will have no direct competitors.
While it won’t be picking up points, the Le Mans 24 Hours organisers have invited the team to race from ‘Garage 56’ – a pitlane spot reserved for experimental cars. It will carry the race number ‘0’ as a non-competitive, exhibition racer. The Le Mans race is important for the race provide a platform for it to show off its advanced high-performance technology, some of which is expected to find its way to road car
“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 executive VP Andy Palmer. “Nissan DeltaWing aims to change that and we were an obvious choice to become part of the project.
It “embodies a vast number of highly-innovative ideas that we can learn from,” he said.
“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”.