Delage is one of the oldest automakers in the world, over 100 years old! Delage is currently in the process of creating their first working V12 Prototype of their concept displayed at the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance, the Delage D12.
I spoke with Laurent Tapie, the Re-founder and CEO of the reborn automotive brand, about the ins and outs of putting together a one-of-a-kind Hypercar together and other related, yet fun, questions!
Q: In your eyes, what makes a Hypercar, a Hypercar?
The performances have to be outstanding
the number of units produced must be very limited
the price must be very high
Q: What makes a Hypercar special to you?
Its design. The way it sounds. The way it feels when driving. Its history.
Q: What inspired you to chase the extreme idea of building a Hypercar?
Passion. I have been a car enthusiast since childhood. And I believe that properly done it can be a good and sustainable business.
Q: Where do you see the future of the Hypercar going?
As more and more restrictions will come for both driving (speed limitations, computer assisted / autonomous driving) and technical choices (potentially the end of thermic engine on open roads), I think Hypercars will be more and more luxurious (as THIS will remain legal!) and more and more extreme for track driving.
Q: How would you describe the sensation of putting the power down in a Hypercar?
This is the most thrilling part when it comes to driving a Hypercar: putting the foot down for full throttle! On a Hypercar, power is generally so impressive that this feeling is a mix of excitement and…terror!
Q: How often do you stretch the legs of a Hypercar at the track or the drag strip?
I don’t own any Hypercar, only supercars. For my supercars, I have always been on tracks at least once per quarter. I never do drag races from 0 km/h : I don’t see the point and it destroys the clutch. I prefer to try to do the best possible time on a track lap.
Q: What is the best driving road to cruise with your vehicle?
France, where I live, have the BEST motorways. Some of them are as perfect as pool tables. And some have very few cars using it (The motorway from Paris to Deauville for example). But speed limit is 130 km/h so one must be very careful when driving fast…
Q: At what point does the car become more art than car; does that pointexist or is a car always a car?
I think a Hypercar is ALWAYS a piece of art. Whether you like it or not is a personal matter, just like art. This is what makes cars the most desirable object created by mankind according to me: they are art in movement.
Q: What is your favorite detail on one of your Hypercars?
My favorite Hypercar is obviously the D12 as it comes directly from mybrain! The 2 details I prefer are the brushed aluminum frame that surrounds the engine compartment on the back of the car, and the very large carbon“boxes” that surround the air intakes on the sides of the car.
Q: What are you most proud of in your creation?
The general design of the car.
From every angle I just love it.
And I am not the only one apparently since the car was awarded “most beautiful car in the world” (Automobile Awards 2020/2021).
Q: What major challenges have you overcome in the creation process of the vehicle?
As usual: to have the design and the techniques work together. Creating our own V12 engine was also very challenging. It has been the longest process (and budget) of the whole project.