IndyCar – More Details About the Delta Wing Concept

A concept only. This is not Bowlby's car.
Robin Miller has a new article up on Speed’s website revealing a few more pieces of information about the radical new design being championed by the majority of the IndyCar owners. The Delta Wing concept car has been the object of much discussion among the IndyCar faithful of late, and now we have some more tidbits to tide us over until we can actually lay our eyes on this car. And that chance is reportedly coming soon.

Add all of the following details in to what we already know about this car and you cant help but think this thing is far stranger than we ever theorized.

First off, Robin reveals that the weight of the chassis will be “significantly less” than that of a sprint car. Current USAC sprint car specs call for the car to be a max weight of 1400 lbs, but many run down around the 1200 lbs range. Graham Rahal recently joked about the car calling it a “900 pound motorcycle”. The truth is surely somewhere in the middle, so the concept car will most likely fall in the 900 to 1200 pound range. If this turns out to be true, this would put the car weight well under the current Formula 1 minimum weight of 1366 lbs (with driver).

The next detail Robin reveals is that the new engine for this machine is projected to be around 325 HP. That is not a typo. Apparently, with the reduced weight and the reduced drag caused by the current aero components, they will be able to turn 225 at Indy in this car with this minuscule engine. The required horsepower to turn top speeds at Indy has been dwindling over the last few years, but this is half the current engine HP. Even if 325 is good for Indy and ovals, will it be sufficient for road/street courses?

The Reveal
We still haven’t got a chance to lay eyes on this car, but that looks to be changing soon. According to Robin, the new car “will be displayed to the public for the first time at an upcoming auto show”. A track ready car will not be ready until sometime this summer, so it appears that Delta Wing is going to show off a model of their car to the public fairly soon. We have to wonder where it will be shown, but all the auto shows are going on this spring, including Detroit, Chicago and even Indianapolis, so we may not have long to wait.

The Bully Pulpit
With so few real details revealed about this car, Robin’s article is long on opinion. It comes of sounding like “What if this funky new car could fix everything in IndyCar? Fire Barnhart!”

Granted, I have my concerns with the series as well, but Robin goes out of his way to throw Barnhart and all the detractors of this new idea under the buss and then closes his article with the thought that this car concept just might cause a new open wheel war.

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3 Thoughts to “IndyCar – More Details About the Delta Wing Concept

  1. I’m very concerned about the power. I’m sure the aero is better so that the coefficient of drag is low enough for the car to achieve 225 mph with only 325 hp, but that’s only the performance at the top end. What about the acceleration? That is a function of P:W alone, not aero. Right now the current Honda/Dallara produces 635 hp and drives a minimum weight of 1630 lbs. That’s 0.390 hp/lb. Given that the minimum weight for this proposed Delta Wing car is 1000 lb, it will produce only 0.325 hp/lb. That’s a BIG reduction in the P:W and will result in extremely anemic acceleration on road courses, and will provide almost no ability for cars to accelerate around traffic on the ovals. The racing needs a HIGHER P:W not lower if we’re to see improvement! If the teams want to run 325 karts, then they should go to FIL or Atlantics. Indianapolis is for high power monsters, but for buzzy little go-karts.

  2. Maybe they are thinking 325 HP and then tweaking the turbo to work exclusively at the low end…

    I hear what you are saying Doug….. I am still intrigued, but starting to wonder if this is an F1 style bluff by the owners to convince the IRL to meet them halfway on something that isnt a flat spec dallara.

  3. […] over at has cut through the huge amount of opinion in this article to find the relevant info, but feel free to read Miller’s thoughts […]

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