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Aston Reveals Hydrogen Rapide S

Nurburgring / 39 Comments

The Hybrid Hydrogen Aston Martin Rapide S will become the first car to race with hydrogen power.

As we reported in the run-up to Geneva 2013, Aston Martin will be racing a hydrogen-powered Rapide S at the Nuburgring 24-hour race in May. And here it is. The pioneering car, called the Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S, will become the first hydrogen-powered car to compete in an international event and will put the Green into the Green Hell by becoming the first zero CO2 emissions sports car to complete a race pace lap at Ring. Working alongside hydrogen experts Alset Global, Aston's engineers developed a prototype twin-turbo 6.0-liter V12 to power the Nurburgring car.

Based on the latest Rapide S sports sedan, it's capable of running on pure gasoline, pure gaseous hydrogen or a mixture of both, which is why "hybrid" has been used in the name even though no electricity is used. In pure hydrogen mode, the only emission the car will make is water as the ignited hydrogen combines with oxygen from the air. The Hybrid Hydrogen system is made up of a hydrogen fuel rail, storage tanks and proprietary engine management system that controls the combustion process according to particular driving situations with the aim of ensuring optimum power, acceleration and CO2 reduction.

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The idea is to generate sports car performance while leaving a supermini-sized carbon footprint. As you'd expect of a car travelling at speed while carrying hydrogen, safety is a concern. The system, approved by German motorsport's governing body, includes four "ultra-high strength" carbon-fiber tanks, two next to the driver and two in the boot, carrying a total of 3.5kg of hydrogen. Aston Martin will line up at the 2013 Nurburgring 24 Hours on 19-20 May along with over 150 cars.