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April 09, 2010


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So is the Delta Wing project is not only a chassis proposal, but an engine proposal?

Who would build these engines? Do they already exist or are they in development also? And if they choose this engine, what happens to Honda? (I understand they are only interested in 6 cyl.)

The Speedgeek

This is a great question. Things are going to get a whole lot less mum on the engine front before we'll know even 50% of the story there.

What I understand: DW is intending that any engine that can make about 325 HP and physically fit in the car is eligible. They used the Mazda AER MZR-R engine because it makes that much power (actually, about 500 HP, in ALMS trim, and then it'd be de-tuned to 325 or so) and because it's only about 160-170 lbs. (key to keeping the overall vehicle weight to 1080). Theoretically, a car owner could put an Audi/VW 2.0T engine in there that's been worked on to get some more power, or a GM Ecotec turbo engine, or a Ford EcoBoost turbo engine (still in development), or a Hyundai Genesis Track edition engine, or...whatever. Those, all being road car engines, will be heavier, though, so I'm not sure where that leaves us with the 1080 curb weight. The idea (again, I think) is that the individual car owners buy their own engines and develop them, or a tuner shop (Ilmor, Cosworth, whoever) buys a batch of them, develops them and then sells them to the teams. The fuel flow limit would put something of a cap on how much work you could put into them and how much power you could get out.

Again, none of this is 100% clear right now. And I don't know what Honda's deal is, because they DO make a 4-cylinder turbo engine for their RDX SUV, but they DON'T make a V6 turbo of any sort, nor have they ever made one for anything outside of F1. I don't get their angle, unless it's simply to drive everybody else away.


I can't really get behind 350 Hp. I understand the relevancy, but for a race engine that's pathetic. ALMS is for the complete relevancy anyways, I fail to see the relevance from Delta Wing, unless someone plans on marketing trikes... I get the idea behind 350 Hp, and I understand it, but it's patheticly small for a top level racing series.


I wondered what Honda's reluctance was also. Thanks, Geek--for the great answer.

Andy Bernstein

Yeah Geek, you're an ICON.

The AER is 163 lbs, but if you got the following part from Delta, please post a link:

"'s only about 160-170 lbs. (key to keeping the overall vehicle weight to 1080)"

Honda's preference for a V6 is a lot more than posturing. Some people were counting on it, but the decision has apparently not been made. Who makes that call isn't clear either, but it reportedly will not be the ICONs.

Mike R

I agree with Dylan about the matter of a top series 'boasting' about their 325-350 HP cars. I wonder about the ability of these things to come up to an appreciable speed quickly enough to excite fans as they accelerate, for example, out of the hairpin at the head of the Shoreline "straight" at Long Beach. With the reduced weight, sure it won't be as difficult as it would be with the current cars, but I doubt that the 500 lb reduction is going to completely offset the decrease in HP. This is supposed to be the "Top Tier" of American motorsports. Technology is of great importance, and going green is great, but the bottom line is, it's still supposed to be entertainment.


I would greatly prefer 800HP engines, not 350HP. The Swift 33 or 66 would be perfect for beefy motors. As far as cars designed with performance and aerodynamics numbers in mind first, could we PLEASE at least see some other designs before we accept this 200mph(if we're lucky)phallus?

The Speedgeek

Hey, most of that stuff that I posted up there was from you. I've casted some of that around here and there since the unveiling, but you're pretty much the only one who's done a good job of summing up the thoughts on the DW in one place (well, two or three places, but I'm OK with keeping track of if :) ).

The target curb weight of the car is actually 1030 lbs. I was wrong there.

Mike R,
You'd be real surprised how quickly a 1080 lb. car could accelerate, even with as little as 325 HP. The DW's got a 25% better power to weight ratio than the Bugatti Veyron, which does 0-125 MPH in 7.3 seconds. Ergo, the DW should go 0-125 in something around or under 6 seconds. Top end acceleration should be even better than the Veyron because of the low frontal area and therefore far lower drag. It'll do 200 MPH, don't worry about that.

I'd prefer 800 HP engines as well, but the question is who is going to spend the money to develop such things? In these tight times, probably not many manufacturers, as stuff like that looks like unnecessary expense to boards of directors. 500 HP engines? We'd hopefully get 2-3, maybe 4 manufacturers for those (which would be just fine by me), but the DW guys are hoping that there could be 7-8 or even more different engines that could be bolted in that would do 325 HP. Mind you, my preference would be a 1200-1300 lb. Swift design with somewhere between 500 and 600 HP (THAT would be spectacular), or better yet, a couple different chassis, but the jury is literally still out. We'll see what happens.

Andy Bernstein


This is the part I was referring to:

"...key to keeping the overall vehicle weight to..."

That's the conclusion I came to, and was wondering if you had seen where Delta admitted to it. They point to alternative engines, but haven't pointed to one to use in their car. Or spoken about why.

If you crunch Dallara's projected numbers, there doesn't look like a way they are counting on a V6.

The Speedgeek

Oh, I see what you were saying. Once you mentioned that elsewhere, wherever that was, that made total sense to me. I think that 1030 lbs. WITH driver is a ridiculously low weight. The minimum weight for a Formula Ford is 1100 lbs. with driver, and that's with the Kent engine, an incredibly simple unit that requires very little cooling, no computer systems of any sort (unless you count a Pi dash or data acquisition system), has no wings or other aero devices, and tiny tires. 1030 WITH driver means that without driver, the DW is supposed to be under 900 lbs. The only way to do that and still have a safe (crushable) vehicle is by having a really small, really light engine and a similarly small, light transmission, which they're trying to get away with by only having to send 325 HP through it. I think the whole thing is an admirable aim, but how many racing engines out there weigh under 200 lbs. while making over 300 HP? That might be their biggest bugaboo, now that I've done some thinking about it. I still maintain that a 1200-1300 lb. car with a 500-ish HP engine is the way to go, but I guess I'm not privy to anything that's in development on the engine front.

What's the deal with Dallara and the V6s? What numbers are you talking about?

Andy Bernstein

OK, then you got my memo but neither one of us has seen anything other than Delta's sales pitch.

My numbers in January were:
Dallara/ Honda 1565 lbs, 630 HP

Dallara/ four cylinder turbo, 550 HP, equivalent power to weight ratio at 1366 lbs.

In February, Dallara published:

"Dallara's new chassis would feature narrower tires, less horsepower (a drop from 630 to 570) and a lighter design (1,390 pounds vs. the current model's 1,530 pounds). The reduction in power, weight and tire width would increase fuel efficiency."

Sounds pretty close. Are they going to shave 140 lbs with their new chassis if it is designed around a V6 turbo? I don't THINK so, it doesn't seem likely.

That's why I've been looking for existing 4 cylinder turbos that might be able to handle the job at 575 HP. I think there are three so far. Invitations and a dyno day might reveal the answers.

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