If You Want 70 MPG, Your Next Car May Have To Look Like This

The DeltaWing is one of the most radical and innovative race cars to hit the track in decades. But why can't we have a version for the street as well? DeltaWing chairman and racing mogul Don Panoz says we can, and it might just look like this.

DeltaWing Technologies, the company behind the racing car that is no longer partnered with Nissan, this morning unveiled a concept design that shows what a street-legal, four-passenger DeltaWing could look like.

It keeps the race car's ultra-aerodynamic shape and space efficient packaging, and they say that when combined with the right lightweight materials, it "can deliver any given performance level with significantly reduced fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions."

The DeltaWing idea is based on four ideas: reduced weight, increased powertrain efficiency, decreased energy consumption, and improved aerodynamics. They say the street car will do all of these things, and their current targets are zero to 60 mph in six seconds, a 130 mph top speed, and up to 70 miles per gallon with a small four-cylinder engine with somewhere between 85 and 110 horsepower.

It's designed for manufacturers facing ever-increasing efficiency standards — a corporate average fuel economy rating of 54.5 MPG by 2025 — and could be powered by gasoline, diesel, electric, natural gas or hybrid engines.

So are they going to make it? The people at DeltaWing Technologies say they plan to share the design and platform with existing mass-market automakers rather than build it themselves.

The idea is ambitious as hell, and I have doubts whether automakers will adopt such a revolutionary design. But if you had showed me a picture of the DeltaWing race car years before it debuted, I would have said "There's no way that will ever hit the track," and yet here we are, with the DeltaWing running in sports car racing. Maybe they can pull of a road-legal car too.

So who wants a DeltaWing as their family car?