Top Gear meets the DeltaWing
Sam Philip goes on track with the car that could rewrite racing... or end up on its roof
Posted: 23 May 2012
There's another benefit to keeping all the important stuff at the back: straight-line stability. "The car has the body stability of a dart, because it has very little drag at the front," says Bowlby. "The aero drag is behind the C of G, so the vehicle is stable. It sounds odd, but think what happens if you throw a dart backwards? It rights itself."
Straight-line stability is usually achieved at the expense of agile cornering but not, says Bowlby, with the DeltaWing. The reason? Those 2CV-skinny front tyres. Conventional mid-engined racers have most of their weight behind centre, but their front tyres are generally almost as wide as their rears. This means that under heavy braking or in high-g corners, there's a surfeit of grip at the front, encouraging the car to swap ends. Because the contact patches of the DeltaWing's tyres match its front-to-rear weight distribution, it's balanced in the corners.