The Nissan DeltaWing

Road & Track got an exclusive look at the new Nissan DeltaWing race car doing some full power testing. It’s currently being powered by a turbocharged and direct injected 1.6 liter inline 4 cylinder engine. Nissan makes the engine and it’s related to the optional turbocharged engine for the Juke. The goal behind the car was to make be lighter and more aerodynamically efficient than a traditional car in order to reduce fuel consumption. That’s why the nose and front tires are so narrow. The DeltaWing is able to turn because its center of gravity is almost on the back axle. That gives the front wheels a lot more leverage on the weight of the car. The design was in the running to become the new chassis for Indy but was passed over for a more traditional design. Now Nissan is picking up the project to race in the 24 hours of Le Mans.

Let me give you full disclosure here. I’m all for new technology and efficiency in motorsports more than most, but I absolutely hate this car. It’s my opinion that the DeltaWing is too far in the realm of idealistic engineering theory and not a practical design. It makes some sense if you analyze the forces on the tires and the center of gravity while the car is static, but I think the car will suffer in wheel to wheel racing when the drivers are trying to pass using aggressive line changing with the weight of the car shifted forward from heavy braking. A lot of passing maneuvers depend on how the car behaves in situations like that and I don’t see the DeltaWing being particularly good for them. I sincerely hope I’m wrong.

Source: Road & Track YouTube Channel

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