The wackiest racecar ever to hit the track has been transformed into a potential road car.
The arrow-nosed DeltaWing that was initially conceived for IndyCar competition and then transferred to a Le Mans-type sports car could soon become a showroom reality.
DeltaWing Technologies has released an illustration of a road-going version of its radical racer that also showcases the reason Nissan is being sued by the race car company as it puts it in direct competition with Nissan's BladeGlider concept.
The first DeltaWing to turn a wheel in anger raced with Nissan power in 2012.
The lightweight and aerodynamic DeltaWing platform - which was dubbed 'The Batmobile' - involves a narrow front axle that is followed by a wide rear end, forming a triangular ‘delta' shape that is vastly different from regular cars.
Originally penned as an Indycar chassis, the DeltaWing was transformed into a two-seat Le Mans racer with the support of Nissan. But the Japanese car giant is now using a similar concept for its own ZEOD prototype that will race at Le Mans this year, which is powered by an experiemental three-cylinder engine and electric motors, designed by the same man who penned the original DeltaWing. It also launched the BladeGlider concept which bares a resemblence to the DeltaWing and ZEOD.
The DeltaWing concept is owned by American businessman Don Panoz and he continues to race variants of the original DeltaWing in American motorsport. But Panoz says it is time to go beyond the track and is looking for a car maker to buy the concept to build a production car.
"Many of the aerodynamic, lightweight and handling benefits of the race car can translate to the street," Panoz says.
"We are competing at the highest levels of road racing with half the weight, half the horsepower, and nearly half of the fuel consumption.
"We believe we can deliver similar results on the street without compromising safety, comfort and performance. We have a formula that's highly efficient and still fun to drive."
The road-going version of the car has space for four occupants, and could be powered by a compact engine with half the power of conventional sports cars.
The company claims a DeltaWing powered by an 82kW engine could accelerate to 100kmh in six seconds, and offer fuel economy of just 4L/100km.
The legal action between DeltaWing and Nissan is on-going.
- Sydney Morning Herald