With its swept-wing design and narrowed front end, there’s no mistaking the DeltaWing for anything else on the track. Now the company has unveiled a newly rendered DeltaWing concept, that it hopes will take the radical design and turn it into a high efficiency, road-going passenger car for four.
The proposed passenger version won’t have the original DeltaWing track racer's performance capabilities, but it will retain most of the car's uncommon DNA.
Unfortunately, when the designers decided to puff out the back to make room for additional passengers, they removed almost all evidence of the "fighter jet meets 80s era Batmobile" appeal from the design. The concept as it sits now resembles more of a bloated trike with a disproportionate passenger dome and 1950s-era vacuum cleaner for a nose, than it does a next-generation performance vehicle.
To be fair, though, the winged wonder isn’t just some esoteric design folly, the vehicle actually derives its unconventional shape from DeltaWing’s four core principles: weight reduction, powertrain efficiency, energy optimization, and improved aerodynamics.
Hardly an original business statement, but such a design is claimed to result in a car that’s 35 percent lighter than a comparable, requires 35 percent less horsepower to achieve similar performance statistics and consumes 35 percent less fuel. According to DeltaWing, these reductions and improvements are thanks to a combination of light-weight steel, aluminum, advanced composites and an overall lower massed vehicle.
The company has yet to confirm power-to-weight ratio, but says that performance figures for the passenger concept should be respectable. Nowhere near the performance of the all-electric DeltaWing ZEOD RC, of course, but by running a small 110 hp (97 kW),four cylinder engine, the street version will be capable of reaching a top speed of 130 mph (209 km/h), hitting 0-60 mph (100 km/h) in around 6 seconds, all the while delivering mileage to the tune of 70 mpg (4.0 L/100 km). The ultimate goal of DeltaWing and its partners is to meet the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards of 54.5 mpg (5.2 L/100 km) by the model year 2025.
However, the street-going DeltaWing is still just a concept so we’ll have to wait to see how things shake out on future versions – should the concept ever jump off the computer screen. The company is currently seeking OEM partners to assist in bringing the concept to market.
Source: DeltaWing Racing
Update June 2, 2014: Following the publication of this story we were contacted by Gary Fong, the Director of Communications at DeltaWing Technologies, who was keen to point out that apart from a period of approximately eight months in 2012, Nissan is not involved with the DeltaWing race car project. Rather, the lawyers have become involved in a dispute between the two companies relating to Nissan's ZEOD, which Fong and DeltaWing claims was created with misappropriated intellectual property and trade secrets.
We've updated the image gallery with images of the DeltaWing provided by the company, retaining an image of the ZEOD for comparison. Fong also pointed out that the renderings of the passenger concept is just that; a concept, with the design far from set in stone. The company is looking to license its technology and work with an OEM to develop production-ready prototypes, with any styling the province of the auto manufacturer.