Automotive

DeltaWing gives first look at 4-seat passenger concept

The DeltaWing concept is designed to be a road-going, multi-passenger version of the company's unconventional track racer
The DeltaWing concept is designed to be a road-going, multi-passenger version of the company's unconventional track racer
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The DeltaWing concept is designed to be a road-going, multi-passenger version of the company's unconventional track racer
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The DeltaWing concept is designed to be a road-going, multi-passenger version of the company's unconventional track racer
The DeltaWing concept has lost some of the "fighter jet meets 80s era Batmobile" appeal of the original track racer
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The DeltaWing concept has lost some of the "fighter jet meets 80s era Batmobile" appeal of the original track racer
DeltaWing's unconventional architecture translates into a car that is 35 percent lighter, requires 35 percent less horsepower and consumes 35 percent less fuel than comparable vehicles
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DeltaWing's unconventional architecture translates into a car that is 35 percent lighter, requires 35 percent less horsepower and consumes 35 percent less fuel than comparable vehicles
The DeltaWing vehicles derive their unconventional designs from four core principles: weight reduction, powertrain efficiency, energy optimization, and enhanced aerodynamics
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The DeltaWing vehicles derive their unconventional designs from four core principles: weight reduction, powertrain efficiency, energy optimization, and enhanced aerodynamics
One key attribute of the DeltaWing shape is considerably less overall mass, which translates into a lighter, quicker, more efficient car
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One key attribute of the DeltaWing shape is considerably less overall mass, which translates into a lighter, quicker, more efficient car
The goal of DeltaWing is to meet the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards of 54.5 mpg (5.2 L/100 km) by the 2025 model year (electric ZEOD RC pictured)
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The goal of DeltaWing is to meet the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards of 54.5 mpg (5.2 L/100 km) by the 2025 model year (electric ZEOD RC pictured)
The DeltaWing concept is designed to be a road-going, multi-passenger version of the company's unconventional track racer
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The DeltaWing concept is designed to be a road-going, multi-passenger version of the company's unconventional track racer
DeltaWing at the 2014 Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix
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DeltaWing at the 2014 Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix
DeltaWing at the 2014 Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix
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DeltaWing at the 2014 Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix
DeltaWing at the 2014 Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix
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DeltaWing at the 2014 Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix
DeltaWing at the 2014 Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix
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DeltaWing at the 2014 Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix
DeltaWing at the 2014 Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix
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DeltaWing at the 2014 Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix
DeltaWing at the 2014 Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix
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DeltaWing at the 2014 Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix
DeltaWing at the “Roar Before the 24” test session, in the lead up to its first Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2014
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DeltaWing at the “Roar Before the 24” test session, in the lead up to its first Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2014
DeltaWing at the “Roar Before the 24” test session, in the lead up to its first Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2014
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DeltaWing at the “Roar Before the 24” test session, in the lead up to its first Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2014
DeltaWing at the “Roar Before the 24” test session, in the lead up to its first Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2014
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DeltaWing at the “Roar Before the 24” test session, in the lead up to its first Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2014
DeltaWing at the “Roar Before the 24” test session, in the lead up to its first Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2014
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DeltaWing at the “Roar Before the 24” test session, in the lead up to its first Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2014
DeltaWing at the “Roar Before the 24” test session, in the lead up to its first Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2014
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DeltaWing at the “Roar Before the 24” test session, in the lead up to its first Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2014

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.

20 comments
P17
As with the flying car elsewhere on Gizmag, this is a ridiculously stupid idea. There is an inherent stability with Trike's no matter how low the CoG or long the wheelbase. The headline claims don't mention any form of electronics which would allow the trike to turn safely by tilting the body. Tilting is the only way you can get a trike to remain planted on the road. This of course can be achieved by suspension linkages and lateral sliding arms. In the 21st Century, I'd expect all this to be managed by computer, especially in a trike with the performance capabilities listed above.
TheSplund
and I thought the PT Cruiser looked ugly...
Marshall Simmons
The delta wing is not a trike. It is a 4 wheeled vehicle.
Slowburn
@ The Master Yes the Reliant Robbin was a death trap that does not mean all deltas are death traps. The same nonsense was predicted about the DeltaWing racer and was proven false but that has not quieted "Deltas are dangerous, deltas are dangerous, deltas..." mantra
BigGoofyGuy
It reminds me of a bloated Trivette. I would find this more appealling if the reversed the arrangement of tires so the narrower set is in back; similar to a BMW Isetta. I think it would make it both more appealling and more stable, IMO. http://www.gizmag.com/nissan-bladeglider-concept/29712/ I think this is way better looking than the one above.
Cédric Blanc
How can you get such an ugly street car from such a great looking race car. Why can't Nissan hire better designers? they have a great concept and such poor execution. Forget making it look like a normal car, that's missing the whole point.
Heather Bowman
Technology should work with not against the laws of physics, bad idea unstable in direction of travel. If you are going to do a trike or trike shaped vehicle the width needs to be in the front not the back. Never understood this idea.
Grunchy
I like the appearance of the blade glider better. Trikes make it hard to avoid pot holes: with a motorcycle you have a single track (wheel path) to manage, with a car there are 2 tracks to manage. These trike-shaped cars with 3 tracks are going to make it hard to avoid pot holes.
P17
@Slowburn US racing involves limited steering and reduced lateral forces on the vehicle by steeply banked curves. Thus steering isn't an important factor in the delta race car. It will be a massive factor for normal cars even on the wide freeways in the US.
Rt1583
@ Cédric - The one picture of the concept car looks like a badly executed photoshop project so an actual production model may not look this bad. With that said, I don't think they can make a production model look any where near as good as the race version. The ratio between the nose frontal area against the windscreen frontal area/passenger compartment width is too far off to look appealing to most consumers. The race car looks like a rocket sled (and how many car nuts, young and old, have dreamed up their own favorite version of a rocket sled) while the concept looks like a really misguided attempt to make an Altima more aerodynamic.
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