The innovative and Batmobile-esque Nissan DeltaWing racecar took the endurance racing world by storm last year, even though it didn't finish the 24 Hours of LeMans after getting punted off the road by a Toyota. It had a much more impressive showing at Petit Le Mans in October, where it finished fifth.
But now big changes are on the horizon for the radical car, friend of Jalopnik Marshall Pruett over at SPEED reports. First of all, team principal, motorsports mogul and nicotine patch inventor Don Panoz says it will have a new engine — a 1.9-liter Mazda sourced twin-turbo four cylinder good for 345 horsepower. Panoz will build 40 of the engines for use in P1 and P2 cars.
However, the big news is that Nissan is out. Effective immediately, the Japanese automaker won't continue their participation in the program, according to SPEED.
There are also changes to the way the car will look for 2013 ahead. Panoz said that an open top DeltaWing (like the one we're all familiar with) will race at Sebring, but after that, it will switch to a closed top setup.
From what SPEED has reported, it sounds like Panoz has essentially taken the DeltaWing program over more fully. Most of the original partners in the car, including Nissan, designer Ben Bowlby, and Duncan Dayton of Highcroft Racing are now out. It's not known whether Michelin, another prominent sponsor, will stay on or not. It is rumored that Firestone could step in if Michelin drops out.
It will be very interesting to see where the car goes from here.
Photo credit AP