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Revival of Delage in Goodwood

go guys On TED Road – Episode 7

Delage is now recognized worldwide as one of the most interesting French car brands of the first half of the 20th century. Created in 1905, some of the most beautiful and competitive luxury cars of its era were born, with emblematic models such as the D8-120 S with bodywork by Pourtout “Aéro Coupe” or the 15 S 8 that took part in the brand’s crowning world champion in 1927 Unfortunately, less than fifty years after its inception, the company closed its doors. Even today, her iconic models can be admired at the greatest style competitions and events around the world.

In love with this legendary brand, Laurent Tapie a few years ago decided to revive it. For him, the Delage of the 21st century should be a supercar, necessarily very exclusive.
Why Dilag? For Laurent Tapie, the answer is obvious. “For me, the two most beautiful French car brands are Bugatti and Delag. The latter also won more style competitions than anyone else and Bugatti continues its story today. Therefore, if there was a French brand to revive, it was Delag!” explains the businessman. And when we talk about the Festival of Speed, he resumes, “It’s a known fact, every year you have here all the Hypercars shown in one category, it’s a unique opportunity!”

Motorsports Festival

From the 1932 Bucciali TAV8-32 V12 “Flèche d’Or” to the MxLaren F1, Goodwood is the festival of all precision mechanics.Image credit – Richard Dredge

Between temporary hill climbs, parades, a Concours délegance or a gravel rally, this international festival celebrates motorsports in the broad sense by presenting just about everything that is powered by two, three or four wheels. From this point of view, Adam Waterworth, Managing Director of Goodwood Events, sets no boundaries. “The Festival of Speed ​​encompasses all aspects of mobility and its technologies. We offer over 600 cars and motorcycles with the drivers who have made them famous.” Thus, after imposing the Bucciali TAV8-32 V12 “Flèche d’Or” from 1932 in the Cartier Style space, you will discover, just a few steps away, six McLaren F1 cars (!) on display right next to it … and then in front of the “Goodwood House” and his massive BMW sculpture, the access to the motocross pastures where the legendary Wayne Rainey, Kenny Roberts, Kevin Schwantz and Mick Doohan trekked with their legendary machines. Soon, we resume our journey to discover the stunning 1936 Auto Union Type C with dual rear wheels. In the next lane, we came face-to-face with a McMurtry Spéirling electric powered UFO that set the climb record in 39.08 seconds over the weekend. A rapid crossing over the track is the descent towards Hypercars, through the platforms of the huge manufacturers where BMW, Aston Martin or Alfa Romeo introduced new models.

Four years of development for rebirth

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Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​2022
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Image credit – Richard Dredge

On the Delage side, four years of development were necessary to deliver this rolling prototype inside the “Michelin Supercar Paddock”. This huge space dedicated to the most beautiful supercars and supercars on the planet has amassed nearly fifty internal combustion vehicles and/or electric vehicles. For Adam Waterworth, “The Festival of Speed ​​wants to offer its fans a blend of heritage and pioneering. This year, you can enjoy a Delagation DH V12 from 1923, like a Delagation D12 from 2022. It’s this combination that makes the Festival so special.” Alongside his hypercar, Laurent Tapie returns to the general concept of the car “With the D12, I wanted to build Formula 1. A car that came as close as possible to this exceptional racing car driving experience. Breaking the record at the Nürburgring in the road legal class.” With its streamlined front wheels separated from the bodywork, this two-seater (arranged side by side) is unlike anything known. Its design stems from the stubborn desire of its creator, to “make the car monolithic on the road, with as much aerodynamic support as possible”. For this, it was especially necessary to work out the volume of the front wing with movable blades and, above all, to facilitate the passage of air through it by improving the cockpit. Thus, like the single seater with a tapered body that favors this flow on each side of the cockpit, the D12 has adopted a central driving position to gain unique sensations on the wheel and to narrow the front end.

two hybrids

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Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​2022
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Laurent Tapie decided to revive the legend in the form of a HypercarImage Credit – Matthieu Brotel

Mechanically, this carbon monocoque is powered by an inboard-developed atmospheric V12 with a capacity of 7.6 liters of displacement, 990 horsepower at around 8500 rpm and 800 Nm of torque. Added to this are two possible hybrids, an 8-speed semi-automatic gearbox and a so-called “differential” suspension. Benoit Bagor, technical director of the D12 project, comments on this point “Invented by Mauro Bianchi, this system, installed as a world exclusive to our car, makes it possible to do without an anti-roll bar.” Available in two versions, the Delage D12 GT will have a 110 hp electric motor paired with a V12 for a total of 1,100 hp. The D12 Club version will benefit from a 20 hp smaller hybrid, but will show 90 kg less on the scale! Count about 1,400 kg in working condition and thirty copies planned for a base price of two million euros excluding taxes. The first delivery is scheduled for the end of 2023.

on the ring

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Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​2022
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Image Credit – Matthieu Brotel

Stunning numbers challenge Oliver Webb, the D12 daytime driver. “With such a prototype in my hands, I realize it’s a sacred privilege to take the wheel!” He admits before taking his place in the starting line. 12:52 p.m. Delage and her driver are ready, while Laurent and his entire team wait for the rest. Suddenly, the starter (commissioner) lowered his arm and the D12 roared along with the howling of the V12 engine. Very soon, the first looms as Oliver drops his gear in a plume of flames from the exhaust. He re-accelerates fully and passes “Goodwood House”, before quickly tying together the few curves and straight lines that lead him to the finish. Successful bet! Half an hour later, when the car returned to the track, we found its owner, Laurent Tapie. “I’m so happy Delage is doing so well and above all relieved that One Piece is back…I didn’t think Oliver would push it so hard!” Thank you, Laurent.

to summarize

A few weeks before the doors open for the 2022 edition of the Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​(England), the Delage D12 prototype is finally ready for trading. Laurent Tapie, the new director of the brand, was convinced of this, “We have to go to the festival, it’s the best European event to show the car to the public.” This is how the leading French automaker returned on June 25 at Goodwood.
By Matthew Brutell

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