Automotive

DeltaWing road car designs revealed

DeltaWing road car designs rev...
An early glimpse of the likely appearance of Donald Panoz’s radical road-going supercar
An early glimpse of the likely appearance of Donald Panoz’s radical road-going supercar
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Unlike the racer, it also gets a rear window – albeit one that’s split down the middle by a large stabilizing fin
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Unlike the racer, it also gets a rear window – albeit one that’s split down the middle by a large stabilizing fin
An early glimpse of the likely appearance of Donald Panoz’s radical road-going supercar
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An early glimpse of the likely appearance of Donald Panoz’s radical road-going supercar
Although only published in late March this year, the designs were actually penned in late 2013, suggesting that this is a project that’s been underway for a while
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Although only published in late March this year, the designs were actually penned in late 2013, suggesting that this is a project that’s been underway for a while
Just as on the Le Mans car, the design features four headlights – two on the nose and two on the much wider rear wheelarches,
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Just as on the Le Mans car, the design features four headlights – two on the nose and two on the much wider rear wheelarches,
The road model’s shape is quite different to the racer, with a much wider cabin and larger, more practical doors
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The road model’s shape is quite different to the racer, with a much wider cabin and larger, more practical doors
An early glimpse of the likely appearance of Donald Panoz’s radical road-going supercar
6/6
An early glimpse of the likely appearance of Donald Panoz’s radical road-going supercar
View gallery - 6 images

There can’t be many racing car projects in recent years that have attracted as much interest and support as the radical DeltaWing and now its makers have announced that they’re going to build a road-going version.

What they haven’t done, though, is hand out pictures of that road car. So it’s useful that the firm has patented its design instead instead, giving us an early glimpse of the likely appearance of the road going machine.

First, a bit of background on the convoluted history of the DeltaWing. It started life in 2009 as a proposal for the new generation of Indycar, using the odd-looking narrow-front-track layout created by British designer Ben Bowlby. The idea was that by shifting the weight distribution to the rear, the back tires would take more of the strain in braking and cornering, allowing the front to use narrow tires mounted close together for an aerodynamic benefit. The Indycar proposal wasn’t chosen, but the idea was taken on by race and road car builder Don Panoz and developed into a Le Mans car, powered by a Nissan engine. This eventually led to the development by Nissan of the similarly-laid-out ZEOD RC electric Le Mans car and its BladeGlider road car concept after Bowlby left DeltaWing for the Japanese firm – a move that led to a legal case between DeltaWing and Nissan.

DeltaWing has gone on competing with its own, petrol-powered machine in the American Le Mans Series and the United SportsCar Championship.

The firm now plans to expand into road cars using the same concept, making both two and four-seat machines and revealed on 20 March that it plans to make the two-seater first, with prototypes intended to hit the road later this year. The idea is to use the road car to homologate a racing version in the GTE or GT3 classes.

While DeltaWing hasn’t officially revealed any pictures of the road car, just after its announcement a patent was published under the firm’s name and citing Don Panoz as the designer – and it shows a machine that matches the company’s description of a two-seat road model.

The road model’s shape is quite different to the racer, with a much wider cabin and larger, more practical doors
The road model’s shape is quite different to the racer, with a much wider cabin and larger, more practical doors

Just as on the Le Mans car, the design features four headlights – two on the nose and two on the much wider rear wheelarches, just behind the doors. But the road model’s shape is quite different to the racer, with a much wider cabin and larger, more practical doors. Unlike the racer, it also gets a rear window – albeit one that’s split down the middle by a large stabilizing fin. Although only published in late March this year, the designs were actually penned in late 2013, suggesting that this is a project that’s been underway for a while. That fits neatly with the firm’s stated intention to have a prototype ready later this year, since it must already have a significant amount of work completed to be able to achieve that goal.

View gallery - 6 images
5 comments
The Skud
Cool! They had better do some serious 'spatial awareness' testing of potential clients though, or there will be lawsuits everywhere as Bubba tries to fit that narrow nose between those slower semis ahead, forgetting the rest of the car is a lot wider than the nose! The feeling of security and invincibility in that metal shell can be dangerous.
LikelyLad
Stop that pigeon. Some of you may be too young to 'get' that.
JPAR
@LikelyLad No, that was a different cartoon - I think you are trying to refer to the Mean Machine :-)
RESISTANCE
If you see me driving this down the street, it's because I'm Batman.
Stone Hardplace
We need a mini van version of this!