Nissan has revealed what it believes to be "the most radical motorsport project of its time". The Nissan DeltaWing is a super-charged, futuristic racing car that requires half the fuel load of conventional rivals, has a Direct Injection Gasoline - Turbocharged (DIG-T) engine that can produce up to 300-horsepower, and looks much like the Batmobile or a rocket car from the pages of Dan Dare.
In addition, the car manufacturer - along with the many partners who have combined to build the DeltaWing - will be entering the project into an actual race - the gruelling 24 Heures du Mans, held on 16-17 June this year.
The car won't be classified for the race, but will be used to show off the extraordinary abilities of future car technology that will eventually be implemented in Nissan road cars. The race-prepared 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine, featuring direct petrol injection and a turbocharger even shares some of the same DNA as the company's Nissan Juke.
Other prototypes may be more powerful, but it is expected that the DeltaWing will perform comparably because it's half the weight and sports half the aerodynamic drag of a conventional racer.
"As motor racing rulebooks have become tighter over time, racing cars look more and more similar and the technology used has had less and less relevance to road car development," said Andy Palmer, Nissan's executive vice-president. "Nissan DeltaWing aims to change that and we were an obvious choice to become part of the project.
"But this is just the start of our involvement. Nissan DeltaWing embodies a vast number of highly innovative ideas that we can learn from. At the same time, our engineering resources and commitment to fuel efficiency leadership via our PureDrive strategy will help develop DeltaWing into a testbed of innovation for Nissan."
Nissan joins an experienced group of core partners in the project, all of which are heavyweights in their respective fields, including British designer Ben Bowlby, American motorsport entrepreneur Don Panoz and Michelin Tyres North America.
We hope they also add a pyrotechnics team to that growing list. We want flames to come out of the back. Of the good kind, of course.