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.