It was at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show that we first saw the radically-designed DeltaWing concept, which was unveiled by chief designer Ben Bowlby as a potential replacement for the chassis used in IndyCar. Promising incredible fuel economy, the DeltaWing racer found a natural home in endurance racing, where it even competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans back in 2012.
About a year ago, DeltaWing Technologies, an offshoot of the DeltaWing Racing operation behind the radically-styled race car, revealed a road-going version equipped with conventional doors and a four-seat layout. Now, DeltaWing has revealed some spectacular—if proven—fuel economy figures for the road car, which the company hopes will persuade major automakers to license the patented, narrow-front design.
DeltaWing doesn’t plan to build any cars itself. Instead, the company plans to partner with automakers that share its vision of reducing fuel consumption and lowering emissions by creating cars that are much lighter and more aerodynamic than what you find today. The design can also be used to create a two-seat sports car that will be ideal for GT racing, something DeltaWing has confirmed it’s also working on.
But getting back to the road car, DeltaWing boasts that independent engineering analysis, using metrics such as weight, power, drag coefficient, and much more, shows that the car would return an EPA-rated fuel economy of almost 74 mpg highway. The combined figure would be over 57 mpg, the company says. Those figures would not only make it America's most fuel efficient internal combustion engine vehicle, it would meet the 54.5 mpg CAFE standard coming into force in 2025. The figures were calculated based on a 138-horsepower 1.4-liter gasoline engine being fitted to the car.
As for the new GT race car, DeltaWing is working on a concept now and expects to reveal it in full later this year. It will be designed to demonstrate that with far less horsepower than many of today's best sports cars, a two-seat performance car based on the DeltaWing architecture would deliver the same performance, yet with previously unimagined fuel economy and efficiency. DeltaWing sees the race car project as being a major step toward demonstrating the potential of its unique design, for both race and road applications.
Overseeing the development of the GT race car will be DeltaWing’s new engineering chief Brian Willis. He will also oversee the development of two- and four-seat versions of the DeltaWing road car that will be used for real-world testing.