Aston Martin’s historic hybrid hydrogen lap of Nürburgring

Posted on Apr 30, 2013 by
Aston Martin Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S in action at Nürburgring

Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S in action at Nürburgring

While Aston Martin are trumpeting their historic first hydrogen-fuelled zero CO2 emission lap of the 24 km Nordschleife circuit in Germany there is perhaps more to the story than simply an engineering first.

The lap was completed on Saturday, April 27 with Aston Martin CEO Dr Ulrich Bez at the wheel of the prototype Aston Martin Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S in what was effectively a test run ahead of a formal record-breaking attempt at the ADAC Zurich 24 Hours of Nürburgring (N24) next month.

Dr Ulrich Bez behind the wheel of the Aston Martin Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S

Dr Ulrich Bez behind the wheel of the Aston Martin Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S

Development of the ground-breaking hybrid system – created by technical partners Alset Global – has apparently so far exceeded expectations and Dr Bez said: “I am incredibly proud of the Aston Martin team, and our partners Alset Global. We have written a little motorsport history with this qualifying lap as well as finishing the four-hour race on hydrogen.”

And within that statement comes an indication, perhaps, of how specialist, independent technology and engineering companies can hold the key to the future prosperity – or otherwise – of some of the world’s great motoring marques.

As hybrid technology becomes ever more mainstream, the role of engineering specialists who operate outside the realms of the traditional internal combustion engine becomes correspondingly important. If, in Alset Global, Aston Martin has found an engineering partner that truly has the edge on its competitors in the field of hydrogen propulsion, the future benefits for the British car maker could be immense.

David King, Director of Special Projects at Aston Martin and the man leading the Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S project, said: “This achievement should leave no one in any doubt that the system we have developed with Alset Global is a viable and exciting option for the future.

“This is the ultimate expression of our long term strategy of using the Nürburgring 24h race to publicly demonstrate the abilities of our cars and our people.”

When it competes at N24 the Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S will be able to complete full laps with zero CO2 emissions and will be refuelled after each stint with 3.5kg of hydrogen as well as gasoline.

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