Nissan DeltaWing, e-bikes, more Tuesday news

March 13, 2012 § 1 Comment

A Nissan-powered prototype called DeltaWing is to run in the Le Mans 24 Hours, and will take some demo laps at Sebring this weekend. The super-aerodynamic DeltaWing features Nissan’s DIG-T 1.6-litre, four-cylinder engine with direct injection and turbocharger, developing around 300bhp; it showcases low-drag, weight-reducing tech and despite its small engine and power output (around half that of its competitors, as is its weight and drag) it is expected to run at a pace between than of the LMP1 and LMP2 cars. The driver sits far back – almost over the rear axle – and the car’s engine is rear-mounted; there is a strong rearward weight bias.

The DeltaWing will start from garage 56 at Le Mans – the spot reserved for experimental cars – and carry the number 0; its results will not be classified. Partners in the DeltaWing project include Don Panoz, former F1 driver Dan Gurney and his All-American Racers constructors, the Highcroft Racing team and Michelin Tyres North America, the car’s designer is Brit Ben Bowlby, and drivers confirmed so far are Marino Franchitti and Nissan’s FIA GT1 champ Michael Krumm.

In other news today:

  • EV Innovations is looking for dealers to market the electric truck it’s developed for Bluebird Automotive. Video of theĀ  Bluebird City in action at YouTube, more info to be posted here.
  • Following my ramblings last week about e-bikes and pedelecs (see below), turns out that the University of Brighton is to run a 35-bike trial for six weeks. The researchers will be using GPS and smartphone apps to monitor use of the bikes, studying speed and distance travelled, and work with employers and community groups to look into how they can encourage e-bike usage for commuting. More details from the University here. Incidentally, I was overtaken by an e-bike (not one of the trial models) along the seafront this morning.
  • Aspiring designers are invited to create an urban micro-EV for the future; more on the GrabCAD competition here (thanks, @GreenMotor).
  • Mitsubishi Electric has developed a prototype EV motor with built-in silicon carbide converter, half the size of its existing product. More at Green Car Congress.
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