Nissan will have a spectacular entry in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours race. The June 16 race will feature the Nissan DeltaWing, a racecar designed to push the boundaries of performance and low fuel consumption through aerodynamics and weight saving materials. A true prototype!
According to Nissan and its partners in the project, the DeltaWing is the most revolutionary car to appear in motorsports for a generation; the aim is to show that it is possible to make huge efficiency savings by downsizing and using a truly innovative aerodynamic package.
The prototype car was developed by a group of partners including U.S.-domiciled British designer Ben Bowlby, American motorsport entrepreneur Don Panoz, the All-American Racers organization of former U.S. Formula 1 driver Dan Gurney, Duncan Dayton’s two-time championship-winning Highcroft Racing team, Michelin Tires North America, and Nissan.
Everything about the DeltaWing is designed with efficiency in mind – its unique shape has half the aerodynamic drag of a conventional racer, while all parts – including the downsized Nissan 1.6-litre DIG-Turbo engine – are smaller and weigh much less than traditional Le Mans machines. The car is so unique that it competes in the race outside the regulations of Le Mans, wearing the number “0” and running from “Garage 56,” reserved exclusively for experimental racers.
The Nissan DeltaWing is unlike any other racing car currently on track. The driver sits well back in the car, almost over the rear axle and looks ahead down a long, narrow fuselage to narrow twin front tires, specially created for the car by tire partner Michelin. With a rear-mounted engine, the car has a strong rearward weight bias, which makes it highly maneuverable, while its light weight and slippery shape make it far more efficient.
Nissan’s expertise has been applied to the development of the engine, in order to make it light and efficient enough to prove the philosophy behind the concept can work in ‘real-world’ motor racing. The Company, always among the first to embrace such radical ideas and surprising new performance innovations, has promised to apply key lessons learned from the experience to inform strategies for its PureDrive aerodynamics and efficiency package for road cars, as well as its overall research & development programs.
Dan Gurney’s All American Racers organization has built the DeltaWing. The new car continues the California organization’s legacy as a race car constructor which has included 157 different cars built – earning major victories in Formula 1, sportscars and the Indianapolis 500.
Nissan DeltaWing Tech Spec
• Engine: Nissan 4-cylinder, 1.6-litre DIG-T (Direct Injection Gasoline Turbo)
• Max power: 300bhp at 7,400 rpm
• Max torque: 310 Nm constant from 400 to 6,750 rpm
• Transmission: 5-speed sequential
• Chassis: FIA-homologated carbon fiber monococque
• Front wheels: 15″ diameter, 4″ wide
• Rear wheels: 15″ diameter, 12.5″ wide
• Front tires: 10/31/15 Michelin
• Rear tires: 310/620/15 Michelin
• Weight: 475kg without fuel or driver, 575kg with fuel and driver
• Distribution: 28% front, 72% rear
• Length: 4.65m
• Front width: 0.76m
• Rear width: 2.08m
• Wheelbase: 3.05m
• Fuel capacity: 40 liters
• Bodywork: Carbon composite
• Aerodynamics: Twin cortex underbody downforce system – BLAT (Boundary Layer Adhesion Technology)
• Top speed: 315kph (196 mph)
• 0-100 kph: 3.3 seconds