Nissan to power futuristic DeltaWing racer

The race car of the future will be powered by Nissan.

The automaker announced today that it has signed on as the engine supplier for the DeltaWing racing program, which is set to make its competition debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.

The DeltaWing is a radical, lightweight prototype racer designed in Indiana and built by Dan Gurney’s All-American Racers that will be fielded in the 24 Hours of Le Mans by Connecticut-based Highcroft Racing. The car features a unique, low-drag needle-nose design and weighs about half of a typical Le Mans prototype, just 1050 pounds.

The idea behind it was to create an extremely efficient race car that offers all of the performance of the cars of today but with significantly lower emission and fuel consumption. The car will be powered by a 300 hp tubocharged 1.6-liter engine based on the one in the Nissan Juke.

Review: 2011 Nissan Juke

Nevertheless, its designers say that it will be capable of hitting 200 mph on the long Mulsanne straight at Le Mans, and should turn in lap times somewhere between the top to prototype classes, LMP1 and LMP2.

DeltaWing will not be officially competing for the win, but will be running in a special category for out of class cars that feature new technologies.

The DeltaWing will make its first public demonstration laps at Sebring International Speedway on Thursday, March 15th, in advance of the American Le Mans Series season opening 12 Hours of Sebring on the 17th.