Now that racing designer Ben Bowlby’s cutting-edge DeltaWing race car has made the rounds in motorsports over the last two years, DeltaWing Technologies is looking to take its racing technology and design to the street. The company released a rendering of a possible DeltaWing road car, and executives are currently amid talks with automakers to license the design for production.
DeltaWing Technologies claims that it is far along in the development and engineering of a production DeltaWing four-seater, which would at this point only require OEM-specific touches. The road-going DeltaWing features the same rear-engine setup, narrow nose and tires, and lightweight construction as its racing predecessor.
“Many of the aerodynamic, lightweight, and handling benefits of the race car can translate to the street,” said DeltaWing Technologies chairman Don Panoz. “We have a formula that’s highly efficient and still fun to drive.”
Using a small-displacement four-cylinder engine making 85-110 hp, the DeltaWing road car’s projected 70-mpg rating, six-second 0-60 mph sprint, and 130-mph top speed unfortunately still come at the cost of appealing aesthetics. The DeltaWing’s awkward proportions and wrap-around glass undoubtedly make the modern racer slippery at speed, but it still looks like a rejected design study for Michael Keaton’s Batmobile.
Officials from DeltaWing Technologies hope to collaborate with an OEM to bring the innovative concept to larger mass-market production than it could support independently. Adding the highly efficient DeltaWing architecture could help automakers meet stricter Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards coming in 2025, which mandate an average of 54.5 mpg. DeltaWing Technologies says its production DeltaWing is 35 percent lighter, needs 35 percent less horsepower, and burns 35 percent less fuel than conventional vehicles.
The DeltaWing race car fared well in the 2012 Le Mans race until it was forced into a wall by another vehicle, but the Nissan-sponsored racer would go on to compete in numerous other events through 2013. After switching from Nissan to Mazda power, the DeltaWing vehicle became available for sale to private teams in August 2013. We named the DeltaWing our 2013 Racing Car of the Year, citing its revolutionary design and ability to deliver on its promise of reduced weight, power, and fuel consumption.