History has been made at the Nurburgring this weekend with the Aston Martin Rapide S Hydrogen Hybrid claiming the first ever zero-emissions lap in an international motor race at the 41st ADAC Zurich Nurburgring 24 Hours in Germany.
Based on the recently released Aston Martin Rapide S road car – the 6.0-litre V12 twin-turbocharged prototype was developed with renewable energy experts Alset Global.
After succeeding in recording a pure hydrogen lap in qualifying, Aston Martin CEO Dr Ulrich Bez (who drove the car) commented: “We exceeded our very ambitious target of completing a full lap of the Nurburgring and went on to cover 40km in race conditions – nearly two laps – before the car automatically and smoothly switched to gasoline power”.
Throughout today’s punishing 24-hour race at the Nurburgring, which starts at 17:00 CET, the Rapide S Hydrogen Hybrid will run on a blend of petrol and gaseous hydrogen, with the goal to complete at least one lap per nine-lap stint on pure hydrogen.
The Hybrid Hydrogen system comprises a hydrogen fuel rail, specially designed storage tanks and a bespoke engine management system.
Either pure hydrogen, petrol or a blend of both fuels can be selected to ensure even power delivery, acceleration and minimal CO2 emissions.
The storage system includes four ultra-high-strength carbonfibre tanks capable of holding a total of 3.5kg of hydrogen stored at a pressure of 350bar.
The standard Rapide S production car generates 620Nm, while the hybrid version delivers up to 800Nm, although, peak power is capped at around 373kW (down from the standard 410kW) for a more linear throttle response.
The Rapide S will start from 83rd position on the grid from a field of over 200 cars, while Aston’s V12 Vantage GT3 entry qualified second.