Nissan DeltaWing is Batman’s new race car for Le Mans

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 13, 2012

Nissan becomes a founding partner in the DeltaWing, which is the most radical motorsport project presently. The DeltaWing automobile is run by a super-efficient and highly advanced Nissan engine as it zooms on the track for the time at the popular Le Mans 24 Hours on June 16 and 17.

Although the Nissan DeltaWing will not be classified in the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours, the automaker is seeking to display the groundbreaking technology, which will showcase a possible direction for the motorsport's future and will feed into the research and development of future innovations which will lead to the automaker's road vehicle product lineup.

The race-ready engine features a turbocharger and direct petrol injection. It is a four-cylinder 1.6-liter powerplant and has half the weight and half the aerodynamic drag of a typical racer.

Nissan, which is focused on innovation, was a natural partner to be invited into the DeltaWing family. The current partners in the group include US-domiciled British designer Ben Bowlby, the All-American Racers organization of former US Formula 1 driver Dan Gurney, American motorsport entrepreneur Don Panoz, Michelin Tyres North America and Duncan Dayton's two-time championship-winning Highcroft Racing team. The engine is badged DIG-T (Direct Injection Gasoline – Turbocharged).

It is anticipated to generate about 300hp, enough to provide Nissan DeltaWing lap times between LMP2 and LMP1 machines at Le Mans, even with only half the power of those conventional prototypes. The powerplant has the same technology found in Nissan road cars like the Juke DIG-T.

Nissan's Executive Vice President Andy Palmer commented that as motor racing rulebooks have become "tighter over time," racing automobiles "look more and more similar" and the technology utilized has had "less and less relevance" to the development of road vehicles. He further explained that Nissan DeltaWing aims to change that scenario. He also stated that they were "an obvious choice" to become a part of the project.

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