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Nissan Exits The DeltaWing Racer Project


Though the radically-styled DeltaWing racer wasn’t developed by automaker Nissan, Nissan is the company that most fans associate with the futuristic race car. After all, the DeltaWing has usually sported the Nissan logo on its bodywork, and Nissan provided the 1.6-liter engine (tuned by partner RML) used to power it in 2012.

Now comes word from Fox Sports / Speed TV that the partnership between Nissan and the DeltaWing program is over, effective immediately. News of the breakup follows Tuesday’s announcement that the DeltaWing program will grow to include new engine and chassis configurations, including a closed-cockpit variant that will debut in May.

At next month’s American Le Mans Series 12 Hours of Sebring, the DeltaWing is expected to run with a new twin-turbo 1.9-liter engine, based on the production 2.0-liter Mazda MZR. Look for output to be around 345 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, a gain of nearly 50 horsepower compared to the 1.6-liter Nissan engine used in the 2012 DeltaWing.

Though the split was sudden, it appears to be amiable. Nissan’s director of global motorsports, Darren Cox, wished DeltaWing creator Dr. Don Panoz and his partners the best, saying, “we look forward to supporting their progress from the sidelines at future races.”

As for the reason behind the breakup, Cox’s statement that, “we are committed to developing innovative and exciting cars both on the track and on the road,” seems to sum it up nicely. While the DeltaWing got Nissan plenty of exposure, it was never going to produce a car that Nissan could generate revenue from.
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