Nissan's Deltawing 'Batmobile'
Nissan's low-slung Deltawing will take to the track at the Le Mans 24 Hours race this year - and the 1.6-litre vehicle could change motor racing forever.
The turbo-charged, direct petrol-injected
vehicle is half the weight of conventional endurance racing cars - but can achieve similar lap times.
It will race from 'Garage 56', the pit lane spot for experimental cars - and will have race number '0'.
The Nissan DeltaWing is lighter and more aerodynamic than other endurance racing cars - and will not be classified as a racer at Le Mans, due to its radical design
The driver sits well back in the car, almost over the rear axle and looks ahead down a long, narrow fuselage to narrow twin Michelin tyres.
With a rear-mounted engine, weight is shifted rearwards - which makes it highly manoeuvrable, while its light weight and slippery shape make it far more efficient.
The engine, badged DIG-T, is expected to produce around 300hp, sufficient to give Nissan DeltaWing and should offer lap times the same as - or better than - prototypes twice as powerful.
The Automobile Club de l’Ouest , the organisers of the Le Mans 24 Hours, invited the car to run in this year’s race from ‘Garage 56’, the spot in the pitlane reserved for experimental cars.
As it doesn’t conform to any existing championship regulations, Nissan DeltaWing will not be eligible to challenge for silverware - and will have the race number 'Zero'
Nissan DeltaWing concept originator and designer, Briton Ben Bowlby, said: 'Nissan has provided us with our first choice engine. 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.'
Dan Gurney's All American Racers organisation built the DeltaWing's body - the California organisation has built 157 different cars – earning major victories in Formula 1, and the Indy 500.
The first two Nissan DeltaWing drivers to be confirmed are British Sportscar racer Marino Franchitti and Nissan’s reigning FIA GT1 World Champion Michael Krumm.