Nissan DeltaWing Considered ‘Best of What’s New’

Nissan’s DeltaWing racecar has been named one of Popular Science’s “2012 Best of What’s New” products and innovations in the magazine’s December 2012 issue.

The DeltaWing made its first racing appearance in France at the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance event this summer.

As described by Nissan, the racecar features half the weight, half the horsepower and half the aerodynamic drag of a typical Le Mans sports car. Accordingly, Nissan DeltaWing only consumes about half the fuel of a typical Le Mans prototype car, as well.

Popular Science’s editor-in-chief, Jacob Ward, said that “for 25 years, Popular Science has honored the innovations that surprise and amaze us – those that make a positive impact on our world today and challenge our view of what’s possible in the future. The ‘Best of What’s New’ list is the magazine’s top honor, and the 100 winners – chosen from among thousands of entrants – are each a revolution in its field.”

T h e racecar is designed very differently from a conventional Le Mans vehicle. For example, the Deltawing’s four – inch – wide front tires are key in allowing the 1,250 – pound DeltaWing to reach 200 mph with the same amount of power found in a high-performance sedan, versus the real world equivalent of 600 horsepower needed to propel a regular Le Mans racecar .

Darren Cox, Nissan’s Global Motorsport Director, said: “The Nissan DeltaWing was designed and built with the initial aim of completing the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans using just half the fuel and half the tires of contemporary sports prototypes. This recognition from Popular Science is evidence that the Nissan DeltaWing is truly something different, and we’re glad that its innovative contributions to racing have been recognized.”

The DeltaWing scored its first-ever race finish this last October, taking fifth place overall in the grueling 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta in Georgia despite starting from the back of the grid of 42 endurance racers.

“One of the key elements to the success of the DeltaWing is its highly-advanced and hugely-efficient Nissan 1.6 engine,” added Cox. “During the project, our engineers learned a lot about high performance, high efficiency engines as well as radical aerodynamics, advanced lightweight technologies and breakthrough chassis dynamics. All these things are important trends in road car development. Nissan used this project to fast track our learning.”

The Nissan DeltaWing will make its North American auto show debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, where it will be on display to the public from November 30 to December 9 at the Los Angeles Convention Center

For those eager to see the innovative racecar up close, the Nissan DeltaWing will make ots North American auto show debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, where it will be on public display from Nov. 30 to Dec. 9.