Ever since Nissan unveiled its Batmobile-like Le Mans competitor, petrolheads have been gagging to see it in action.
The vehicle, which mimics the design of the model the Caped Crusader used in 1989 film ‘Batman’, set imaginations alight and for the first time it has been seen in the flesh tearing it round the track.
The endurance DeltaWing is a unique vehicle that has half the weight, half the horsepower and half the aerodynamic drag of typical Le Mans entrants – meaning it can cut down on the amount of fuel needed to complete the 24 hour race.
Despite using a 1.6 litre engine, the DeltaWing is turbocharged and packs 300 horsepower. Nissan claims the vehicle’s engine size is irrelevant as the car’s body is aerodynamically designed, allowing it to use just half the fuel of typical Le Mans racers.
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And the vehicle’s design has really caught the imagination, with nothing else like it at Le Mans. The driver’s seat is positioned almost in line with the rear wheels behind the car’s long nose, while the vehicle’s twin front tyres each measure just four inches wide.
“There is innovation in the car, the fact that we can perform to such a high level while using half the tyres, half the fuel,” said driver Marino Franchitti. “I’m not saying it is what the face of motorsport will look like the future but it has got people thinking.”
Fellow driver Michael Krumm added: “At the Le Mans 24 our target is to show that we can race the same laps as the big cars to show how fuel efficient it can be.”
Drivers Michael Krumm, Satoshi Motoyama and Marino Franchitti while take DeltaWing to Le Mans, although the vehicle is not eligible to compete for silverware as it does not conform to regulations race organisers have set.