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March 05, 2010


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Sorry, but this is the ugliest of the 2012 concepts. Extremely traditional looking Indycar with Salvador Dali melted wings & 1981 Eagle rear aero. This is the "future"???

I pray we get the Swift concept or the DW loses it tricycle look. JMO


What is it about these ex-sportscar guys that they just don’t get the concept of OPEN WHEEL.
This car closely resembles a Malibu Gran Prix car.

Leigh O'Gorman

@ CA Lukens

You call them ex-Sportscar guys, yet they quite obviously have mass IndyCar pedigree. Where in this design is it not an Open-wheel car??

As I have said with all the other designs, I'd love to see the aero numbers to see if it works for passing - other than that, it's not the prettiest, but much nicer looking than the Delta Wing.


I'm sorry CA... I must have missed all those "sports cars" bullet points on the resumes of Ashmore, Mertens, & Wardrop.


I agree with AZz045. I want to see how this design and the others meet the parameters posited by the DeltaWing project with respect to weight, cost, drag, and horsepower required. If they can't come come close to the DeltaWing numbers then we simply have more of the same. If that's the case, I'm not interested.

The Speedgeek

My apologies to anybody who already read this comment at Pop Off Valve. If you did, feel free to skip down to the next comment...

I think people may have to adjust their perception of “open wheel” a bit when the next car debuts. The reason that open wheel cars used to be open wheeled was because the builders didn’t want the car to carry the extra weight of fenders. Back in the day when the cars were largely made out of steel and/or aluminum, this would mean a substantial weight savings. And in those days, there was no wind tunnel data to tell them that the drag incurred by fully exposed wheels was enormous, possibly a greater penalty than the weight that the fenders would have meant.

Now that we do know that wheels are so draggy, and that they introduce the possibility of a catastrophic wheel-against-wheel and possibly “car going into the grandstands and ending the series in a cascade of litigation” event, it only makes sense that the wheels get covered up somewhat.

As for the BAT car…eh. It’s OK. I’ll probably be happy, no matter what gets picked, especially if we can get some different engines in play, and possibly some cosmetic variation between teams and cars.


Is it the case that the fans are expected to take the Delta Wing or nothing? Because I suspect a goodly number of them would opt for nothing. I'm not so sure the IRL can survive a big, expensive mistake.


Something tells me the Delta Wing is not going to be chosen. It is merely the design result of the outline IndyCar has set for the next car.

It is now up to Dallara, Swift, Lola and now BAT to get as close to specs (racability, low-cost, less drag, yadda, yadda).

Dallara #2 looks fast; #3 is basically the Delta Wing with open wheels - Swift #2 is much the same but with lights; BAT doesn't do anything for me and Lola would not be a bad choice.

But its going to be the car that meets the most DW specs.


@ Dearman:

I entirely agree with you. DW has set the bar. Now let's see how close the others can come to it.


I'm curious why they have the Honda emblem on the nose. They might be a surpize contender if they have some backing from Honda.


Open-wheel is just a name. Indycars no longer have ride-along mechanics either. Indycars don't have to have completely exposed wheels anymore than stock cars have to be stock.

The more concepts they promote the more complaints they're going to get from fans. I hope they pick one--any one--soon and get into building and testing.

Chris Lukens

My comment ( # 2 ) seems to have generated a few direct replies, so will try to answer them. Sorry this has taken so long, but I don’t log on every day. I will stand by my comment that this car is not Open Wheel. OPEN WHEEL, i.e., wheel out in the open. You need more than the top 3 inches of the tire sticking out of the bodywork; having the wheels neatly cocooned within the sidepods or the front spoiler dis-qualifies it as open wheel. Take a look at the failed USAC pavement Silver Crown car as another good example of an open wheel car that is not open wheel. And I believe that car came courtesy of the same group that is extolling this car.

I will concede the point that these people have done things around the hallowed grounds of IMS of which I could only dream. I am merely a fan, who pays his bucks and sits in the grandstand. But, like so many things it boils down to “What have you done for me lately?” With a sports car built in Thailand, the USAC car, this car, the answer is... not much.


Chris: I think the BAT car is much closer to the idea of an "open wheel" car than for example the Delta Wing concept. Every designer today recognizes that the majority of the drag is produced by the spinning tire "out in the open". Every car designer today attempts to get the airflow up and away from those "beloved" open wheels. Since the teams are not allowed to increase the cubic inches and/or the horsepower, the only way to gain more speed is through managing the air flow around the car. Even F1 recognizes this and they are going to having wheels that more enclosed than they were before.

I think you are just going to have to live with the idea that having wheels "out in the open" is about as dead as the Passenger Pigeon.

The Speedgeek

Also @ Chris:
Hey, I'm not disputing that any of the concepts are far less "open wheel" than what we've currently got or have had at any time in the sport's past. I'd be an idiot to try to claim anything different. I'm just saying that A) open wheel cars are dangerous, B) open wheel cars are not very aerodynamically efficient, and C) the reason that open wheel cars are open wheel stems from a design decision that was made roughly (and literally) 100 years ago.

Points B and C aren't all that important, in the grand scheme. Improving B would be a nod to the "smaller engine, more efficient cars" strategy that's being employed by the entire auto industry right now. Point C is important to the historical identity of the sport, but is it really all that bad to cover the wheels even 50%? You still wouldn't confuse the cars for stock cars, or even sports cars.

Point A is obviously up for debate, as how dangerous is too dangerous? Racing itself is dangerous, but will we all be sorry that the wheels weren't more covered up if two cars tangle Kenny Brack-style and a car gets into a grandstand? Because that would likely end the series. Not just for this year, but possibly forever. Race tickets say stuff like "at your own risk", but will that little line of fine print prevent a talented prosecutor and a sympathetic jury from exacting $100 million from the League for massive loss of spectator life?

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