No, this is not an F1 racer. And yes, this sports car is apparently street legal. For the Ricky Racer in all of us, French automaker Delage is coming back with this outrageous F1-looking sports car. And buyers will be able to buy it in the first part of 2023.
Delage was supposed to return in 2020
The revival of the iconic French brand was set to happen in 2020. But then COVID happened instead, pushing back its plans for debuting the D12. Now it is set to begin production later this year for the first deliveries happening in Q1 of 2023.
If you make it to the Monterey Car Week this summer, you’ll get a look at a running D12 prototype. At the 2020 confab, we understand it scored a few deposits. Obviously, Monterey is the perfect climate for interest, where fast cars and the past blend together.
What is a Delage?
Delage is an iconic French brand that began in 1905. Before WWII it had won both Le Mans and the Indianapolis 500, before taking the Grand Prix World Championship crown in 1927. No other French automaker won as many Concours D’Elegance awards, showcasing its beauty, as well as its brawn.
After Delahaye acquired Delage in 1935, it went on to create beautiful grand touring automobiles. The D6-70 debuted in 1937 and won the Tourist Trophy at Donington Park in 1938, as well as a gang of Le Mans second-place wins. WWII stopped production, and the company was never able to bounce back to its pre-war hits. It produced its last car in 1953.
What engine does the Delage have?
What we know now about the Delage D12 is that two trims will be available. The hybrid drivetrain for either one starts with a 7.6-liter V12 with 960 hp, hooked to an eight-speed, single-clutch automated manual transmission. With the GT trim, you also get a 110-hp electric motor. That bumps up the horsepower to 1,100 ponies.
Going for the Club trim gives you a more serious track competitor. It still has an electric assist, but with only 20 hp. It’s also 200 lbs lighter, which accounts for its faster track times over the GT.
Is this really street legal?
If the fuselage looks a bit wider than an F1 racer, that’s because it isn’t an F1 car. It’s also because it seats two occupants. Entry and exiting are done through the tilting glass canopy. Delage CEO Laurent Tapie says this is the only road car with a pushrod suspension. As the Lamborghini Aventador has had a pushrod suspension for some time, maybe he means that the D12’s suspension is a unique application of a pushrod suspension?
Production of the first 30 cars begins this fall. Allotments slice off 10 for the U.S. and the remaining 20 for Europe and the rest of the globe. With your Delage D12 purchase, you also get driving lessons from ex-F1 Driver’s World Champion Jacques Villeneuve. How cool is that?