Top Gear drives the DeltaWing
The DeltaWing has had quite a year. This is what happened when we got behind the wheel…
Posted: 18 Dec 2012
But it's the way it changes direction that's the stand-out sensation here. The weightless front has no inertia, therefore acting like a rudder through the tarmac - the Deltawing doing an enormously convincing Scalextric impression. You expect the downside of this ability to be stability - perhaps a tendency to hunt down cambers and ruts, but, no, it has a dart-like purity and smoothness to it. And due to reasons that Bowlby painstakingly explained to me but I fundamentally failed to grasp, there's very little weight transfer, so when you punch the power mid-corner, it doesn't lift the nose and push into understeer.
The corner leading onto the long, long back straight is taken in first gear, giving the Deltawing the perfect opportunity to demonstrate its other party trick. Acceleration. Now, all racing cars are fast, but downforce, which works so well through quick corners is, for obvious reasons, the enemy of top speed. But the low-drag Deltawing just keeps on accelerating, engine thrashing, turbo punching, through each of the five gears. I know it'll take the kink flat, and although I'm not foolhardy enough to check, it happily clocks 150mph and feels so stable, so confidence-inspiring, so easy with it. Although my experience is far from expansive, the Deltawing is the friendliest racing car I've driven.