Don Panoz developing four-seat DeltaWing street car

  • 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 Hours Daytona

     (©F. Peirce Williams 2010)



  • Abruzzi


The radical DeltaWing race car could soon be flying down a road near you.

DeltaWing Technologies founder Don Panoz tells that his company is developing two street legal versions of the lightweight, fuel efficient, arrow-shaped car that currently competes in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship.

The first is a two-seat GT that’s been designed to be 35 percent lighter, 35 percent more fuel efficient, and require 35 percent less horsepower than the traditional cars in its competitive set, no surprise that.

More unexpected is a four-seat family car version with performance goals of 0-60 mph in six seconds, a top speed of 130 mph and 71 mpg when powered by a gasoline motor. Far from a pie in the sky project, Panoz says the design and engineering process for the car is 95 percent complete.

I’ve seen an image of the four-seat model, and while I can’t say much more than "Wow!" at this point, I’ll add that it looks as incredibly awesome as you’d hope. It has a much better-integrated design than the existing DeltaWing competition coupe, which is a head-turner, but a little awkward with its bubble top.

DeltaWing Technologies President Al Speyer says that both production platforms can accommodate a number of alternative fuel powertrains, including hybrid, electric, and CNG. Panoz doesn’t plan to build the cars itself, but is looking to license the technology to a large scale manufacturer.

In the meantime, along with the recently introduced 25th Anniversary Esperante Spyder that Panoz's namesake brand will be selling 25 of for $181,320 each, the Georgia-based automaker is finally putting the dramatic Abruzzi supercar of 2010 into full production and bringing back its legal racer, the GTR-1, at a rate of four or five cars per year.

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Gary Gastelu is's Automotive Editor.