Half the power of a traditional race car with half the weight. Oh yeah, and it’s powered by a turbocharged engine from a Nissan Juke:
This is the Nissan Deltawing, a 300bhp, 1100lb race car unveiled today in London and set to compete against Audi, Toyota, Porsche and the rest in June’s endurance epic at La Sarthe.
If you recognise the DeltaWing shape, that’s because the dart-like design - penned by Ben Bowlby and based around an Aston Martin LMP1 tub - was pitched two years ago as a potential 2012 IndyCar chassis.
Nissan picked up DeltaWing’s prototype and fitted it with a direct-injection 1.6-litre turbo based upon the petrol engine found in the Juke.
The maths is disarmingly simple: though it has half the power of a full-fat Le Mans Prototype, the DeltaWing carries just half the weight. It also produces half as much drag - the design does away with conventional wings in favour of ground-effect underbody aerodynamics - and will consume half as much fuel and get through half as many tyres. Useful attributes in an endurance race.