Aston Martin Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S will compete in the ADAC Zurich 24 Hours of Nürburgring

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 14, 2013

Aston Martin’s hybrid hydrogen car – the Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S -- will compete next month at the 41st ADAC Zurich 24 Hours of Nürburgring. This is truly remarkable as it marks the first hydrogen-powered car to race in an international event. It’s also the first ever zero-CO2 emissions sports car to finish a race pace lap at the Nürburgring 24-hour race. This innovative hybrid hydrogen car from the British sports car brand is a four-door, four-seat sports car.

Aston Martin’s engineers worked together with hydrogen experts Alset Global and created a prototype twin turbocharged 6.0-litre V12 engine that will be used for the car that will compete at the Nürburgring. The Hybrid Hydrogen race car can run on pure gasoline, pure gaseous hydrogen, or a mixture of both. This demonstrates how much Aston Martin is committed to engineering advancements. When the car is in pure hydrogen mode, Aston Martin and Alset Global are able to prove that it’s possible for a zero CO2 emissions to go around a lap of the Nordschleife while emitting just water.

The choice of the race track is also significant as the Nürburgring is recognized as the toughest and most challenging circuits in the world. This means that Aston Martin also gets the chance to prove how dependable and safe hydrogen technology is today. Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer Dr Ulrich Bez is proclaiming the debut of the Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S. He said that it’s the “perfect time” now to usher in the future with this race car as the company commemorates its centenary in 2013.

The Hybrid Hydrogen system includes a hydrogen fuel rail, storage tanks and proprietary engine management system. As a result, the combustion process can be very flexible depending on the specific driving situation. Since the car can run on pure hydrogen, on gasoline, or a mix of both, the driver can choose any of these to get optimal power, acceleration or CO2 reduction.

This car uses a highly robust and dynamic propulsion system that offers the performance of a sports car but with a carbon footprint comparable to that of a supermini. For safety, the car comes with four ultra-high strength carbon fibre tanks that comprise a total of 3.5kg of hydrogen filled at a pressure of 350bar.

The two tanks are located beside the driver while two are found in the boot of the car. German motorsport’s governing body, the DMSB, has approved the entire hydrogen system developed by Alset Global and its partners. The Hybrid Hydrogen race car is based on the new Rapide S four-door sports car that will start to be seen in Aston Martin’s showrooms throughout the world this month. The new Rapide S was redesigned and re-engineered to provide better style and a much improved performance due to its new AM11 6.0-litre V12 naturally aspirated engine. The car can reach a top speed of 190 mph and accelerate from zero to 62 mph in just 4.9 seconds.

Press Release

Aston Martin to race world-first Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S

• Global debut for Rapide S race car at ADAC Zurich 24 Hours of Nürburgring
• Aston Martin will be first to race with hydrogen power
• Target of first zero CO2 emission lap in mainstream racing


12 April 2013, Gaydon UK - Aston Martin is ripping up the record books at the 41st ADAC
Zurich 24 Hours of Nürburgring in Germany next month as the famous British sports car
brand is to race a pioneering hybrid hydrogen car.

The record-breaking Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S – based on Aston Martin's new four-door,
four-seat sports car – will become the first hydrogen-powered car to compete in an
international event as well as the first zero CO2 emissions sports car to complete a race
pace lap at the Nürburgring 24-hour race.

Working in partnership with hydrogen experts Alset Global, Aston Martin's engineers have
developed a prototype twin turbocharged 6.0-litre V12 engine that will power the Nürburgring
car.

Capable of running on pure gasoline, pure gaseous hydrogen, or a blend of both, the Hybrid
Hydrogen race car showcases Aston Martin's commitment to engineering innovation. In pure
hydrogen mode, Aston Martin and Alset Global aim to show that a zero emissions lap of the
Nordschleife is possible while emitting virtually only water from the exhaust.

Showcasing the technology at the Nürburgring – acknowledged as one of the toughest and
most demanding circuits in the world and, of course, nicknamed 'the Green Hell' –
Aston Martin will underline the reliability and safety of today's hydrogen technology.
Welcoming the debut of the Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S, Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer
Dr Ulrich Bez said: "As we celebrate our centenary in 2013 and look back on a century of
excitement, innovation and style it's also the perfect time to look to the future with this
astonishing race car.

"Aston Martin has a strong track record of innovation and, with our superb history of
competition and testing at the Nürburgring, it is only right that we showcase this amazing
new technology at this year's 24-hour race."

He added: "Working with Alset Global to unveil this system in such a challenging
environment as the 24 Hours of Nürburgring shows once again how confident we are in our
cars, our people and our partners."

The Hybrid Hydrogen system comprises a hydrogen fuel rail, storage tanks and proprietary
engine management system. This enables flexibility in the control of the combustion process
according to each particular driving situation: either pure hydrogen, gasoline or a arbitrary
blend of both can be selected to ensure optimum power, acceleration and CO2 reduction.

This control results in a powerful and dynamic propulsion system that provides sports car
performance but with a carbon footprint more akin to that of a supermini.

Safety is paramount, of course, and the system includes four ultra-high strength carbon fibre
tanks holding a total of 3.5kg (circa 7.7 lb) of hydrogen stored at a pressure of 350bar – two
tanks housed next to the driver and two in the boot of the car. Meanwhile the entire
hydrogen system developed by Alset Global and its partners is approved by German
motorsport's governing body, the DMSB.

The Hybrid Hydrogen race car is based on the new Rapide S four-door sports car that is
arriving in Aston Martin showrooms in the coming weeks.

Redesigned and re-engineered to offer even greater style and significantly enhanced
performance by virtue of its new AM11 6.0-litre V12 naturally aspirated engine, the new
Rapide S is capable of 190 mph and sprints from 0 to 60 mph in only 4.7 seconds.

Dr Bez said of the new road car: "It is a four-door sports car that uniquely combines luxury,
style and sporting excitement in Aston Martin's most flexible and accommodating silhouette.
This is the four-door sports car in its most versatile form."

Aston Martin returns to compete in the ADAC Zurich Nürburgring 24 Hours on May 19-20 for
the eighth successive year. More than 150 cars will start the fearsome 24-hour race, which
runs on the daunting 25km (15.5 miles) circuit that combines the legendary Nordschleife with
the modern Grand Prix track.

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