Don Panoz isn't a guy to shy away from a fight. Since December, Panoz's Deltawing Technologies has been in a lawsuit with Nissan over alleged intellectual property violations with the design of the Zeod RC. The situation went public several weeks ago when Deltawing bought an ad in The Tennessean, a paper near Nissan's US headquarters, and the industry trade, Automotive News, aimed squarely at company CEO Carlos Ghosn.
When the Nissan ZEOD RC limped to the side of the Circuit de la Sarthe a mere five laps into this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, we imagine that a certain American motorsports figure at least smirked a little. Don Panoz's ongoing feud with Nissan probably means he wasn't sorry to see the arrow-shaped racecar's poor showing, and now he's stepping up his campaign against his former racing partner.
The DeltaWing has been an interesting experiment to watch evolve. It started out as just a test in the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans to see if such a radically different design could actually be competitive on the track. It has kept racing though and entered its second season of racing in the US this year. DeltaWing Technologies Inc. is now taking the next big leap in the racecar's tech with a four-seat roadcar concept (pictured above).
It's a rare thing for pie-in-the-sky concepts to make production relatively unmolested. Edges are usually softened, mirrors made bigger and wheels shrunken into something that will be less backbreaking and easier to see out of on public roads. And while the essence of many concepts can still find their way into production, the wackier parts found in their concept forms often end up as nothing more than flights of fancy.
Similarity is bound to occur in an industry where most of the products follow the same basic formula. But once in a while a new design comes along that doesn't quite reinvent the wheel, but comes pretty damn close. The DeltaWing project was one such design – and Nissan, the car's designers allege, stole that design.
Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, but in racing, where something as simple as a car's shape can lead to a competitive advantage, imitation can be a big no-no. That reality is being played out right now, with the DeltaWing prototype and the Nissan ZEOD RC. The two cars, as you can see from the images above, bear a striking resemblance to each other. They're so similar, in fact, that Dr. Don Panoz, one of the big names behind the DeltaWing program, is assigning some legal eagles t
Nissan is working away on its ZEOD RC (Zero Emission On Demand Racing Car) which is still on pace for a Le Mans arrival in 2014. As of right now, the DeltaWing-shaped car's carbon-fiber tub and chassis have been completed. The next step will be installing the twin electric motors and fitting the seat of driver and GT Academy winner Lucas Ordóñez. If the current schedule sticks, the zero-emissions racer will hit a UK track for test laps in September.
DeltaWing Racing Cars has announced that three DeltaWing coupes are for sale to customers who intend to compete in the 2014 United SportsCar Racing series, a new US-based racing series that combines the American Le Mans Series and Rolex Sports Car Series. Élan Motorsports Technologies will build the pointy racing coupes, which will debut on September 19 at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, for an ALMS race.
At last year's 24 Hours of Le Mans in France, Nissan raced the oddly shaped, ultra-efficient DeltaWing. This year, the Japanese automaker has unveiled another groundbreaking vehicle at the site of the historic endurance race: the all-electric Nissan ZEOD RC.
Nissan has announced plans and details around its upcoming all-electric racing car, the ZEOD RC. The Zero Emission On Demand Racing car is said to be capable of a top speed in excess of 300 kilometers per hour (186.4 miles per hour), is shaped a bit like the closed-cockpit version of the DeltaWing (albeit, to our eyes, better looking) and will make its debut in 2014 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This weekend, visitors to the race will have the opportunity to view the prototype near the Circuit de
After the merger between Grand-Am and the American Le Mans Series was announced last year, a contest was held to name the new combined series, and that new name is now officially the United SportCar Racing series. This new branding will take place at the start of the 2014 season beginning with the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Just when we thought the DeltaWing couldn't get any weirder, DeltaWing Racing Cars unveils a new enclosed version of the experimental racer. The coupe is set to bow at Sebring International Raceway this week, complete with an all-new tub to help it comply with 2014 LMP1 regulations. The new racer, to be campaigned without former sponsor Nissan, also features a new engine worked up by the minds at Elan Motorsports Technologies. The open-top machine will still get around the track thanks to a revi
Returning for its sophomore season, numerous changes have been made to the DeltaWing racecar – not the least of which is the fact that it is no longer associated with Nissan – but the most significant update could be a remedy to one of the car's biggest criticisms, its color. In the car's inaugural season, it was reported that other drivers on the track simply couldn't see the racecar, which, due to a combination of its narrow, low-slung stance and its matte black paint scheme, resul
The development of the DeltaWing is making a break and taking a left turn, with a report on Speed revealing that almost none of the partners who helped make the car possible are involved in its racing plans for 2013. That includes Ben Bowlby, the man who dreamed it up, Dan Gurney's All American Racers, Highcroft Racing and Nissan – all of them have apparently stepped away. The only potential supplier left is Michelin, and it's only potential because Michelin hasn't commented on the matter.
It was a tumultuous year for the Nissan DeltaWing. After garnering the support of sponsors and fielding one of the most unique race cars in recent history, the team suffered an early crash at the 24 Hours of Le Mans that saw them sidelined during the remainder of the car's debut race. Likewise, a collision during qualifying at Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta put the team at the back of the pack for the race. Even so, the car managed to fight its way through the field of competitors to place fifth
Popular Science has named the winners in its Best of What's New awards, the victors coming in the categories of aerospace, automotive, engineering, entertainment, gadgets, green, hardware, health, home, recreation, security and software. The automotive category did not go wanting for lauded advancements:
After being sideswiped at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June and suffering a a similar accident during a practice session last week, the Nissan DeltaWing was in danger of becoming known for its crashes more than its racing prowess or unique appearance. That's why we hoped the racecar, competing in only its second race, would finish the 1,000-mile endurance madness of Petit Le Mans.
The American Le Mans Series headed to Braselton, GA this past weekend for the 15th annual Petit Le Mans and the conclusion of its 2012 season. While some of the championships had already been decided earlier in the season – the Corvette team had already captured the manufacturer, team and driver championships for the GT class prior to the race, for example – there were still several titles up for grabs. The Muscle Milk Pickett Racing team, having dominated much of the ALMS season in
After first watching the scary crash of the Nissan DeltaWing at Road Atlanta yesterday, we were worried that the one-off racecar wouldn't be ready for Petit Le Mans on Saturday. We needn't have worried, though, as the car has been quickly repaired by the Highcroft Racing Team in plenty of time. In fact, the car will be running in the night practice session later today and in the practice and qualifying sessions tomorrow.
Yesterday, we caught word on Twitter that the Nissan DeltaWing had crashed during testing for this weekend's Petit Le Mans. Now Nissan has provided us with some frightening footage of how the incident went down. The important thing is that driver Gunnar Jeannette is okay, but this is yet another setback for Nissan and its radically experimental prototype racecar.
Fate has been cruel to the unique little Nissan DeltaWing. Already an outcast because of its odd shape, the experimental prototype was unceremoniously ran off the road in its inaugural outing last June during the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It's followup to that unfinished effort is supposed to be this weekend's Petit Le Mans race, the season finale of the American Le Mans Series in which the DeltaWing will be participating next year. But word from the Twitterverse is that the DeltaWing has crashed aga