The Project 56 DeltaWing has announced that Chicago-based EMCO Gears has been selected to produce the transmission components for the unique car being built for next year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. EMCO will manufacture the 5-speed unit that will transfer the 300 horsepower from the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine to the rear wheels.
EMCO expanded from making gears and shafts to making its first complete transmission for the Indy Racing League in 1997. Recently relocated to a new facility to provide twice the amount of manufacturing space, EMCO now makes a wide range of products including gears, shafts, complete transmissions, steering racks and axle systems.
The DeltaWing transmission is a 5-speed (plus reverse) longitudinal design featuring electrically actuated sequential selection via steering wheel-mounted shift paddles. The transmission's integral final drive differential features an innovative and highly efficient variable torque vectoring control of the driven rear wheels. Through the use of the same planetary gears for both the final drive reduction ratio and differential action the unique transmission package weighs only 70lbs.
A 75-year-old, family-owned business, EMCO originally specialized in commercial gears but entered the racing business in the '60s when it first made gears for A.J. Foyt. The Texan had broken a gear and had asked McDonnell Douglas to make a replacement for him. The aerospace company, in turn, referred him to EMCO which manufactured gears for McDonnell Douglas at the time.
The DeltaWing's debut was announced in June when it won the selection for the 56th entry for next year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. “Garage 56” is reserved for a car featuring new automotive technology previously unseen in motorsport. The rolling chassis was unveiled at Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, where Michelin was announced as the first technical partner for the program.