Nissan has been confirmed as the engine supplier for the radical new DeltaWing project that will compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours this season.
The car will take part in the race having secured the additional entry for a vehicle pioneering new technology, which means it won't be classified in the official results.
Designed to produce a level of performance between LMP1 and LMP2, the DeltaWing has been designed to achieve that performance despite having roughly half the power of an LMP1 car – with a lightweight body and radical design that improves aerodynamic performance being key.
Nissan has now confirmed that it will provide the 1.6-litre turbocharged engine that will power the car, which is to be badged after Nissan's DIG-T (Direct Injection Gasoline – Turbocharged) technology. The engine is expected to provide around 300bhp and will feature technology more commonly found in Nissan's road car range.
“As motor racing rulebooks have become tighter over time, racing cars look more and more similar and the technology used has had less and less relevance to road car development. Nissan DeltaWing aims to change that and we were an obvious choice to become part of the project,” Andy Palmer, Executive Vice President of Nissan Motor Company, said. “But this is just the start of our involvement. Nissan DeltaWing embodies a vast number of highly-innovative ideas that we can learn from. At the same time, our engineering resources and commitment to fuel efficiency leadership via our PureDrive strategy will help develop DeltaWing into a testbed of innovation for Nissan.
“This announcement gives Nissan the opportunity to become part of a ground-breaking motorsport project and one which could shape the future of the sport.”
As well as providing the engine for the car, Nissan will also provide part of the driving talent for the Le Mans 24 Hours, with factory driver Michael Krumm – who lifted the GT1 World Championship last season driving a Nissan GT-R – joining the previously announced Marino Franchitti in the driver line-up.
The DeltaWing, designed by Briton Ben Bowlby, will be run at Le Mans by the ALMS title-winning team Highcroft Racing and is set to make its first public appearance this weekend with a series of demo laps at the Sebring 12 Hours event.