Aston Martin is to race a hybrid hydrogen-powered Rapide S at the 41 st ADAC Zurich 24 Hours of Nürburgring next month.
The 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 CO 2 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.
The Hybrid Hydrogen race car is capable of running on pure gasoline, pure gaseous hydrogen, or a blend of both. In pure hydrogen mode, Aston Martin and Alset Global aim to show that a zero CO 2 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, Aston Martin aims to underline the reliability and safety of today’s hydrogen technology.
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 an arbitrary blend of both can be selected to ensure optimum power, acceleration and CO 2 reduction. This control results in a powerful and dynamic propulsion system that provides sports car performance but with a lower carbon footprint.
The system includes four ultra-high strength carbon-fibre tanks holding a total of 3.5kg 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 worldwide this month.
Redesigned and re-engineered to offer 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 62 mph in only 4.9 seconds.
Aston Martin returns to compete in the ADAC Zurich Nürburgring 24 Hours on May 19-20 for the eight successive year. More than 150 cars will start the fearsome 24-hour race, which runs on the daunting 25km circuit that combines the legendary Nordschleife with the modern Grand Prix track.