DeltaWing Reveals Radical 2012 IndyCar Chassis Design

CONCEPT: The new DeltaWing chassis on display at the Chicago Auto Show last week in Illinois. (David E. Heithaus Photo)

CONCEPT: The new DeltaWing chassis on display at the Chicago Auto Show last week in Illinois. (David E. Heithaus Photo)

CHICAGO — DeltaWing Racing Cars introduced what it hopes will be the future of the IZOD IndyCar Series when it unveiled its proposed chassis design for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series during the Chicago Auto Show.

“Today marks a fundamental shift in how race fans and the general public will view all racing cars in the future. This is a game changer,” said Dan Partel, chief executive officer of DeltaWing, LLC. “This radical prototype takes open-wheel racing to a new level from both an engineering standpoint and the overall spectator experience.”

The chassis — which has a long, sleek nose-like front that has drawn comparisons to the “Batmobile” from the Batman films — is a dramatic change from the current IZOD IndyCar Series chassis.

DeltaWing officials said the design achieves record-breaking on-track performance with only half the engine power of the current chassis. The unique vehicle design will also provide optimum and consistent distribution of loading for the Firestone Firehawk tires.

Company officials stated that the final car will weigh 50 percent less than the current generation IndyCar (1,565 pounds on ovals, 1,630 pounds on road courses) and will generate only half of the aerodynamic drag. They anticipate the new chassis generating speeds of more than 235 miles per hour while delivering a 100 percent improvement in fuel efficiency.

“Our goal is to have our first prototype on the track in August,” said Partel. “We look forward to an exciting development project with the Indy Racing League to ensure that all of their requirements are met for DeltaWing to become the next IZOD IndyCar in 2012.”

“What has been proposed today by the DeltaWing group is a new light, a new vision, an open book and a completely different approach to our sport,” said John Barnes, Panther Racing CEO and managing partner.

“Today’s announcement is not as much about this car as it is a new philosophy and a much-needed culture change in the sport of open-wheel racing. This is about becoming part of the 21st century and not living in the 20th century. Every industry in the country is refocusing their efforts to become more efficient and it is time for the IZOD IndyCar Series to do the same,” Barnes added. “Our sport is one of the greatest on the planet, and in order to ensure longevity and a bright future, it takes bold decisions by people who are fearless and unafraid of making dramatic changes. Today, possibly more so than any other time in our sport, is that time. I applaud Chip Ganassi, Ben Bowlby and everybody associated with the DeltaWing group for their forward thinking approach to our sport. This is a game-changer for us.”

DeltaWing Racing Cars is the last of the four (Dallara, Swift and Lola) chassis manufacturers to submit proposals to the IRL.

There is no timetable for when the IRL will choose its new chassis design.