CHICAGO — Indianapolis-based Delta Wing debuted what it called “The future of open-wheel racing” this week at the Chicago Auto Show. It was a full-scale model race car that looked quite different than anything racing has seen before. And owners say the sport has seen a lot. "We've had bigger engines, we've had smaller engines, we've had bigger wheels, we've had smaller wheels," said Chip Ganassi, owner of Target-Chip Ganassi Racing. "We've done everything you can possibly do and we just think if you had a clean sheet of paper, what would you start with? We think this would be it," Ganassi said. Bloggers have likened it to a "Batmobile" or “rocket ship." However, the concept car is described, Ganassi — who is part of a group of team owners behind it — says it fulfills a lot of goals the sport has been aiming for. "This car is half the cost, it's a little more sustainable, it's half the horsepower, it's greener, it uses less fuel, and it attains the same exciting speed we've all come to appreciate at Indianapolis," he said. Delta Wing is one of four companies competing for the "new" IndyCar for the 2012 series. "Many people asked us, 'Oh, is that what you set out to design?' Not at all," said engineer Ben Bowlby. "In this case, form follows function." So what do drivers think? "Visually, it's a lot different, isn't it?" Dario Franchitti mused. "And I think that's a good thing to grab people's attention ... (and also for) the objectives behind it: reduced weight and increased efficiency, which is something the whole auto industry is looking for right now. And racing has always been in the leading edge of that, so to allow us to be back in that position would be really good." The company hopes to have the concept car on the track by August.