Ah, the DeltaWing that phallic looking race car that was huge on hype but short, very short, woefully short on anything resembling success. The 1/2 the weight, 1/2 the downforce, 1/2 the power on skinny front tires never really worked as theorized. The car was fast in a straight line but suffered, rather expectedly, understeer. The car was tweaked, updates were made and a coupe was used, but the results never came. The car never really had the pace, when it finally showed some pace, unreliability reared its ugly head, time and time again. For the record this is me being kind, I was nor will I ever be a fan of anything DeltaWing. So naturally some time last year Don Panoz announced they were going to make a DeltaWing GT. Oh joy, a DeltaWing for the street.
In their own words, the DeltaWing GT concept takes what they learned on the track and applies it to a 2 or 4 seat sports car. It will be capable of multiple different engine options. Light Internal Combustion, Hybrid or even full Electric, the DeltaWing GT is said to be capable of accommodating them all. This is all well and good, but the fact remains that even if were being kind this thing still looks like an arrowhead at the front. I’m not 100% sold on this idea being able to pass a crash test. Make it safe for the driver and it may become dangerous to other vehicles, not to mention it may not be the safest thing for pedestrians.
In addition I can’t see this thing handling all that well. The race car is less than spectacular on that front and it’s a purpose-built freakin’ race car. Like I said above, the DeltaWing understeers, hardly the handling characteristic you want in a sports car. Yes, at the absolute limit you want the car to understeer slightly because despite what you may think you are not Ken Block nor do you have his car control. Thus understeer is safer than oversteer. Moving on, the DeltaWing GT will be light weight, but so was its racing predecessor and that didn’t really work.
So what Don Panoz (genuinely great man by the way) and his merry band of misfits have come up with is flawed, to be kind. It may be unsafe, it won’t handle properly and it is likely to be insanely expensive. Make no mistake, these buck the trend, small production run cars are always expensive, way more expensive then their counterparts. Then there’s the enormous, bellowing elephant in the room, the looks. Its awful, hideous, vile, disgusting, get the point yet? Nothing about this thing looks good. The canopy is too long, the wheels are too small and the nose is a mess.
So really the only reason you’d pony up the cash and buy one of these things is because you have a burning desire to be different. By buying differently that would somehow magically make you interesting. It won’t by the way. This is why even though it is likely to be 17 different forms of terrible, DeltaWing will sell out of these things.
So it’s settled, the person who would buy a DeltaWing GT is someone who desires to be different above all else. Here’s the thing though, they might not be as different as they hoped. Nissan, who was one of DeltaWing’s original partners have released their own narrow front end, skinny front tires, thing. It’s called the BladeGlider, because wtf, why name it something normal? This has ruffled DeltaWing’s feathers quite a lot. The 2 street cars look nothing alike. But that hasn’t stopped the lawyers from engaging in pitted litigation against one another.
Don Panoz on the BladeGlider, “We’re pleased though not surprised Nissan publicly recognized the innovation and viability of the DeltaWing design. As I’ve said all along, we have the exclusive ownership of the DeltaWing architecture and its intellectual property, not Nissan nor anyone else. We’ve been developing the DeltaWing for racing and ultimately street use since very early on, and we certainly appreciate Nissan’s brief involvement in 2012. I remember when many thought the car would fly off the track. Our race team proved this wrong, and now we see Nissan has confidence in the DeltaWing design. Here’s what Nissan doesn’t have: the DeltaWing IP, the world’s most power-dense electric motor from DHX Automotive, or an operational DeltaWing race car that’s been competing in motor sports for the past five years.”
Sure it’s a similar concept and yes Nissan did Run the ZEOD RC which was basically a DeltaWing Coupe race car with Nissan driveline parts. Both the original DeltaWing and ZEOD RC were designed by Ben Bowlby. Frankly it is all devolving into a bit of measuring contest. And yes I mean that in every possible way. You don’t go to court to argue over your penis shaped cars and not figure out who’s got the biggest “engine”.
Frankly I could care less. I don’t like either car though gun to my head I’d take the BladeGlider because it looks better. The DeltaWing GT looks like someone from the 80’s interpretation of what cars in 2016 would look like. So despite being a brand new concept, it looks dated and ugly and terrible and that’s all I have to say about that.