Delage D12 First Look Review: Viva La French Hypercars
Delage, a legendary French automaker, returns nearly seven decades after shuttering its doors. The company’s latest machine bears the name D12, and it’s a far different animal from the first single-cylinder runabouts the company originally built and sold in the first decade of the 20th century, or the Grand Prix racers with advanced (and tiny) V-12 engines that came later.
Like the since disbanded hip-hop group of the same name, the D12 belts out a distinct sound from its pipes. Except instead of vocal cords, the Delage’s song comes courtesy of a mid-mounted 7.6-liter V-12 engine that pumps out 990 horsepower at a screaming 8,200 rpm. Accompanying the D12’s dirty dozen cylinders is a 110-hp electric motor on the road-oriented GT. Opt for the almost 200-pound lighter, track-focused D12 Club and Delage fits the car with a less weighty, and less powerful, 20-hp motor.
Delage is mum on battery pack specifics, but given the D12 offers an electric-only City driving mode, the company likely fits the D12 GT with a large enough pack to afford a few miles of emissions-free driving. Switch to the D12’s Road or Track modes and the low-slung hypercar goes the hybrid route and relies on both power sources for motivation (with maximum power achieved in Track). D12 drivers can also create their own drive mode by way of the My Mix option, which offers 432 possible configuration settings, according to Delage.
Predictably, the D12 is properly quick, with Delage estimating the 3,064-pound D12 GT makes its way from 0-to-62 mph in 2.6 seconds and on to a top speed of approximately 224 mph. The less powerful but lighter D12 Club, meanwhile, needs 2.9 seconds to hit 62 mph, per Delage, although it matches the GT’s top speed.
The D12 Club makes up for its relative lack of straight-line acceleration on the track. With less weight to lug around, the D12 Club manages an estimated time around the Nürburgring of less than 6 minutes and 40 seconds—5 seconds quicker than the D12 GT’s estimated ‘Ring time.
Accompanying the D12’s pontoon-like front fenders, pointed nose, and wide rear fenders is a jet fighter-like canopy, which opens up to allow the driver and a passenger to enter and exit the D12’s center-mounted tandem seats. Once inside, the driver sits on a seat molded to their body specifications and grips an aero-like yoke-style steering wheel. Delage fits basic controls typically reserved for steering column-mounted stalks to the tiller itself, too. Additionally, two screens located to the left and right of the wheel complement a center-mounted digital gauge cluster.
Delage plans to produce a total of 30 D12s. While the company intends to auction off the first D12 it makes, Delage asks parties interested in the remaining 29 D12s to fork over approximately $2,500,000 to call this road-going race car their own. It’s certainly not cheap, but the Delage D12 at least offers speed, style, and rarity to accompany its high price.
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