FCX Clarity will serve as official pace car for the 2011 Honda Grand Prix

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 10, 2011

On March 24, Honda’s FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell vehicle will serve as the official pace car for the 2011 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida at the Festival of States Parade. In the U.S., there are about 50 select consumers who are driving around Honda FCX Clarity vehicles. It’s not the first time for an FCX to serve as a pace car though. It had already been one at the 2008 Indy Japan race at the Twin Ring Motegi course.

But now, the FCX will be a pace car at the Izod IndyCar grand prix as well as other events scheduled in that weekend, including the Firestone Indy Lights races, Acura Sports Car Challenge, and the Festival of States Parade. Of course, the FCX Clarity isn’t expected to perform on the same level as the other IndyCar pace cars, such as the Chevrolet Camaro that will work the Indianapolis 500 in May.

But the hydrogen-fueled, electric-powered sedan can certainly offer an excellent low-end torque (the result of using an electric motor for propulsion) and brisk acceleration. For this pace car assignment, it seems like the only changes are the paint job and strobe lighting so it’s likely that the FCX will perform typically.

The Honda FCX Clarity will perform the duties of a pace car at a number of races all over the weekend such as the Acura sports Car Challenge, Firestone Indy Lights events and IZOD IndyCar Series. In addition, it will direct the cars at the ZOD IndyCar series at the St. Petersburg Annual Festival of States Parade on Thursday, March 24. The FCX Clarity has also been the official pace car of the 2008 Indy Japan event at Twin Ring MotegiTochigi, Japan, on April 17, 2008.

More FCX Clarity Facts

  • Honda has been leasing its FCX Clarity to customers for a term of three years at $600 per month to cover the costs of maintenance. This lease program marks the first large-scale retail initiative in the world for fuel cell electric vehicle technology.
  • It only takes as fast as 5 minutes to refuel the FCX Clarity.
  • Hydrogen is an alternative fuel, which can be produced domestically by means of electrolysis of water, natural gas reforming or renewable biomethane from waste.

The Firsts of Honda Fuel Cell-Electric Vehicle

The original FCX became the first fuel cell vehicle certified by EPA and CARB in July 2002. It is also the first production fuel cell vehicle in the world, introduced to Japan and the US in October 2002.

Press Release

Hydrogen-Powered Honda FCX Clarity Will Serve as Pace Car for the 2011 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

The Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell-electric vehicle will serve as the pace car for the 2011 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, March 25-27. This is the first-time a hydrogen-powered vehicle will pace an IZOD IndyCar Series race in the United States. As the pace car for the opening race of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar season, the FCX Clarity will lead a competitive field through the challenging 1.8-mile waterfront circuit located in downtown St. Petersburg.

The Honda FCX Clarity is a sleekly styled hydrogen fuel cell-powered sedan currently available on a limited retail basis in Southern California. The vehicle is a key part of Honda's efforts to successfully develop, certify and market zero-emissions vehicles. Propelled by an electric motor that runs on electricity generated in a fuel cell, the FCX Clarity's only emission is water, and its fuel efficiency is three times that of a similar-sized gasoline-powered automobile. The FCX Clarity's performance and acceleration are comparable to a 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine with an EPA certified range of 240 miles. The compact and powerful Honda V Flow Fuel Cell Stack allows for unprecedented spaciousness and a futuristically stylish, low-slung design and spacious interior.

The FCX Clarity will perform pace car duties at several races throughout the weekend including the IZOD IndyCar Series, Firestone Indy Lights events and Acura Sports Car Challenge. Additionally, the FCX Clarity will lead the IZOD IndyCar series cars at the annual Festival of States Parade taking place on Thursday, March 24 in downtown St. Petersburg. The FCX Clarity previously served as the official pace car for the 2008 Indy Japan event held at Twin Ring Motegi in Tochigi, Japan, on April 17, 2008.

Additional FCX Clarity Facts:

Customers pay $600 per month for three years to lease the FCX Clarity from Honda, which covers maintenance costs. This lease program is the world's first large-scale retail initiative for fuel cell electric vehicle technology.
Refueling the FCX Clarity takes less then 5 minutes.
Hydrogen is a domestically sourced alternative fuel which can be made via electrolysis of water, reformed natural gas or renewable biomethane made from waste.
Honda Fuel Cell-Electric Vehicle Firsts:

The original FCX became the first EPA- and CARB-certified fuel cell vehicle in July 2002. The FCX was also the world's first production fuel cell vehicle, introduced to the U.S. and Japan in October 2002. Additional highlights include:

The FCX was the first fuel cell vehicle to start and operate in sub-freezing temperatures (2003).
The FCX was the first fuel cell vehicle placed in the hands of an individual customer (July 2005).
Honda becomes the first auto manufacturer of a dedicated fuel cell vehicle on a production line specifically for hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles (2008).
Honda becomes the first manufacturer to create a fuel cell vehicle dealer network (2008).
For more information on the FCX Clarity, please visit www.hondanews.com. For information on the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, please visit http://www.gpstpete.com.


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