Vijay Pattni29 May 2014

Meet the road-legal DeltaWing saloon

Arrow-shaped Le Mans oddity becomes road-legal saloon concept. This, or a BMW 3-Series?

It's only a rendering, so don't get too excited, but here is what a four-seat, road-legal DeltaWing could look.

It's all gone a bit Wacky Races, hasn't it? No doubt you'll remember the DeltaWing: we saw it a couple of years back when Ben Bowlby talked us through his plans for a revolutionary new type of endurance racer at Le Mans.

Nissan stepped in after that, and built one to race at La Sarthe, and though the DeltaWing's racing life was cut short by a rogue Toyota, it was - and is - an astonishing bit of kit.

And DeltaWing Technologies, which is now in charge of the project, reckons it's a bit of kit that could be the answer to car world's growing problem of economy and emissions regulations. And all the benefits of a two(ish)-seat Le Mans racer have been transferred into this four-seat concept.

So, the narrow-track front means skinny tyres. The rear-engine design - currently targeted as a four-cylinder petrol or diesel developing between 85bhp to 110bhp - pushes the centre of gravity further back, producing less weight on the front axle. This is said to reduce rolling resistance and boost efficiency.

Don Panoz, DeltaWing chairman, says he's been meeting with car companies to figure out fresh technologies to help with the DeltaWing's targeted efficiency and economy targets. And performance: he wants his four-door wacky racer to accelerate from 0-60mph in six seconds, top out at 130mph and go 70 miles on every gallon of fuel. Ambitious.

"Many of the aerodynamic, lightweight and handling benefits of the race car can translate to the street," said Panoz. "We are competing at the highest levels of road racing with half the weight, half the horsepower, and nearly half of the fuel consumption.

"We believe we can deliver similar results on the street without compromising safety, comfort and performance. We have a formula that's highly efficient and still fun to drive."

We'll bring you more as soon as we get it. If it became real, would you ever buy a road-legal Deltawing?

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