Aston Martin to race world-first Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide

  • 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

Aston Martin is ripping up the record books  at the 41st   ADAC Zurich 24 Hours of Nürburgring next month as the famous British sports car brand is to race a pioneering hybrid hydrogen car there.

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 vehicle 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 CO2  emissions lap of the Nordschleife is possible whilst emitting virtually only water from the exhaust pipe.

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. The system enables the driver to run the car on pure gasoline, pure hydrogen or in circumstances where more power or torque is required, the system can automatically blend a small amount of gasoline in with the hydrogen to offer a ‘boost’ feature.

Safety  is  paramount,  of course,  and  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 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 rest to 62 mph in only 4.9 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 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.