Aston Martin has announced it will both debut and campaign a hydrogen-powered Rapide S at this year's ADAC Zurich 24 Hours of Nürburgring. The company wants to be the first to manage a zero carbon dioxide emission lap in mainstream racing, and the racecar should be the first hydrogen-powered machine to compete in an international event. The Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S will continue to use a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V12 engine for propulsion, though the prototype engine can be fed on either pure gasoline, pure hydrogen or any combination of the two.

In order to do so, Aston Martin had to install a hydrogen fuel rail, tanks and an entirely separate engine management system. The tanks themselves are hewn from ultra-high-strength carbon fiber. The four vessels can hold around 7.7 pounds of hydrogen at 5,076 pounds per square inch of pressure. Two get stashed next to the driver while the other two reside in the car's trunk. Check out the full press release below for more information.
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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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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 43 Comments
      Scooter
      • 1 Year Ago
      My other car is a hybrid too, it runs on petroleum and money.
      Ricardo Gozinya
      • 1 Year Ago
      First zero emissions lap in mainstream racing has already been done. Isle of Man TT has an electric category, and electric vehicles have raced at Pike's Peak.
      Du K
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why so many down-votes on hydrogen? Better than electric and hybrids!!
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Du K
        [blocked]
          Du K
          • 1 Year Ago
          I'm saying it is better from an enthusiast standpoint. Electric vehicles can be fast but they are quiet and boring and most of the time, very heavy. A hydrogen powered car using a combustion engine will still give you that combustion personality and emits zero emissions. I still want to be able to hear my engine someday and not a progressive wine.
          • 1 Year Ago
          [blocked]
          AXEL
          • 1 Year Ago
          Stop trolling. Our battery technology is nowhere near efficient enough yet for a pure electric vehicle. The best middle ground would probably be a hydrogen fuel cell. If I can't even keep my phone alive for a full day, how can you expect me to keep my foot out of the go pedal long enough to take a vacation?
        Spiffster
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Du K
        I think hydrogen is great! Not sure what you mean by them being better than EVs and Hybrids though, since you cant actually buy one. Problems are its not nearly affordable even if they where in production and available to actually buy. Im sure this may change in a few years or so, but by then EVs will be even more affordable and have much better range and charge much more quickly.
          Spiffster
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spiffster
          Whoops, used "where" when I meant were. Anyway, a few more points I would like to make. if you think about it EVs will run on any fuel, albeit indirectly. You can also fuel them up anywhere you can find a plug. I have not even heard of any hydrogen fuel stations around here (Denver). I do love the idea though, and I believe this is the next step for internal combustion engines, but comparing them to EVs is like comparing road cars to flying cars.
          AXEL
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spiffster
          Well, I'm sure some people may find it more affordable than a Tesla.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Du K
        You obviously know this from real world experience of driving a hydrogen car, right?
      Logan Abner
      • 1 Year Ago
      Someday we will look back and remember the good ol days when lap times were what mattered in racing, not emissions BS
      Luke
      • 1 Year Ago
      Seeing as hydrogen is the most abundant element in the UNIVERSE...it seems plausible that we should be researching it as an energy source.... Yes, it's explosive but so is natural gas, gasoline, propane, etc..etc.....
        KC
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Luke
        Hydrogen powered cars have been researched by many different manufacturers for years now. This isn't a new discovery. You speak as if we can simply pull hydrogen out of thin air, I am sure that that's not the case.
          Spiffster
          • 1 Year Ago
          @KC
          @Whitaker, I did some reading. This could work, but only if they can get it to return more energy than it takes to extract hydrogen from H20. Highly doubtful, but it would be awesome if that were possible as it would solve the worlds energy problems. See "Efficiency" section here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_electrolysis
          Chris M
          • 1 Year Ago
          @KC
          To "extract" H2 from H2O requires energy to break the hydrogen-oxygen bonds, chemical energy or electrical energy. If there was a good source of chemical energy (ie "fuel") in the car, it would be more efficient to use that energy more directly, either in a heat engine, or some sort of fuel cell or battery, instead of the less efficient process of making hydrogen then burning the H2. If there was a good source of electrical energy in the car, it would be considerably more efficient to use that electricity directly with an electric motor. Using that electricity to make hydrogen to feed an H2-fuel cell results in a 73% energy loss. Using that electricity to make hydrogen to burn in an internal combustion engine results in a staggering 81% energy loss. Using batteries and electric motor results in a mere 24% energy loss.
        gpmp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Luke
        Go do your homework. Though hydrogen is found everywhere in other forms, h2 is what fuel cells use and it isn't found easily in nature. It has to be manufactured and that's what takes energy, usually by reforming methane. It can be produced through electrolysis but that takes a great deal of energy. Current thought is that it's far more efficient to use electricity stored in batteries to drive the electric motor in your car than to convert methane to hydrogen to electricity to drive the motor in your (hydrogen) electric car.
      ecdrumguy37
      • 1 Year Ago
      Awesome engineering
      john m
      • 1 Year Ago
      Cool stuff. I wonder how many miles it can travel with full hydrogen tanks?
      Whitaker Behrens
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow. Great innovation from an unexpected company. I like it.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Whitaker Behrens
        [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          [blocked]
          AXEL
          • 1 Year Ago
          Electric drive is a joke, our current technology does not make a feasible solution. The only way it will ever work will be to swap out power packs at the gas station, because you will not be able to refuel in less than 10 minutes this century.
        KC
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Whitaker Behrens
        I am unable to reply to your post below, so I am replying here. I do not believe that people will be pumping in water into their motor vehicles and be able to run off that. Extracting Hydrogen from water is an energy intensive task, not one you would want a motor vehicle to be doing. Much like you wouldn't want a motor vehicle to be processing crude. You want a motor vehicle to use fuel, not process raw materials.
      GasMan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Oh the humanity.
      SLR722GT
      • 1 Year Ago
      I will miss that V8, V12 sound of Astons.
      Bernie Kressner
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm surprised that people haven't mentioned the BMW "Hydrogen7" cars offered int he USA as a test market, showing the practical reality of H2/ICE combustion. --------------
      Go2Fast
      • 1 Year Ago
      And not even a mention of the 007 door number??
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