Meet one of the strangest looking cars set to participate at this year’s edition of the 24 hours of Le Mans endurance race, which will take place in France this summer from June 16 to 17.
The new Nissan DeltaWing is described as an experimental racecar and as such, will not be classified in the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours.
The Japanese carmaker is one of the leading partners of the DeltaWing project and will provide the engine that powers the prototype, a race-prepared 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine badged DIG-T (Direct Injection Gasoline – Turbocharged), which is expected to produce around 300-horsepower.
According to Nissan, that’s enough power to give the DeltaWing lap times between LMP1 and LMP2 machines at Le Mans, even though it will only have half the power of those conventional prototypes.
Nissan said that the Deltawing’s goal is to display the technology that will show one potential direction for the future of motorsport while also feeding into the research and development of future technologies.
“As motor racing rulebooks have become tighter over time, racing cars look more and more similar and the technology used has had less and less relevance to road car development,” said Nissan boss, Andy Palmer.
“Nissan DeltaWing aims to change that and we were an obvious choice to become part of the project,” he added.
Core partners of the Deltawing project include: US-domiciled British designer Ben Bowlby, American motorsport entrepreneur Don Panoz, the All-American Racers organization of former US Formula 1 driver Dan Gurney, Duncan Dayton’s two-time championship-winning Highcroft Racing team and Michelin Tyres North America.
The first drivers to be confirmed for the Deltawing’s Le Mans adventure are British Sportscar racer Marino Franchitti and Nissan’s reigning FIA GT1 World Champion Michael Krum.