Peter Anderson | Mar 14, 2012

Not wanting to be out-done by Peugeot's diesel hybrid or Audi's R18 cars, Nissan has unveiled its Le Mans 2012 challenger in the form of the Nissan DeltaWing.

It's an extraordinary looking device, blending Batmobile and SR-71 Blackbird shapes and proportions. Nissan describes the car as an 'experimental' racer, a type that cannot be classified in the race.

It is, however, a brilliant way to show off the creativity and ingenuity of Nissan and its partners in the project. The DeltaWing's engine will be a Nissan-developed 1.6 litre turbo four cylinder DIG-T (Direct Injection Gasoline - Turbocharged).

The engine is expected to produce around 300hp, or almost 220kW.

The concept car for the racetrack will be piloted by Marino Franchitti and Nissan's own GT1 World Champion Michael Krum. The car is expected to lap the Le Mans course with times between the LMP1 and LMP2 racers of other manufacturers.

Nissan is but one partner in the project, with the car being a culmination of efforts from Panoz, Dan Gurney's All-American Racers, British designer Ben Bowlby (who presumably is a fan of military aircraft and/or Batman), Highcroft Racing and Michelin.

Bowlby says the car's concept is to halve the drag, power, mass, tyre and fuel consumption and "still achieving the performance of our competitors.'

The sleek machine will no doubt be a terrifying sight for tired GT2 racers as the DeltaWing bears down on them in the early hours of the morning at La Sarthe.

The 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans will be run from June 16 to 17.

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