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Aston Martin Plans to Race Hydrogen Rapide S

Automakers see racing as a trial-by-fire opportunity.

by on Apr.16, 2013

Aston's track version of the Rapide S can switch from hydrogen to gasoline - or blend both.

Automakers often argue that there’s no better place to test out promising new technology than on the race track – which is apparently what Aston Martin has in mind for the hydrogen-powered Rapide S it will field during the 24 Hours of Nurburgring next month.

The ‘Ring is one of the world’s most challenging tracks to begin with, a place where it seems almost every serious performance-oriented vehicle is tested these days, from the new Cadillac CTS to the BMW X4.  But the day-long race will clearly amp things up to the next level for Aston’s prototype.

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One of Aston’s goals, according to CEO Ulrich Bez, is to complete the first “zero CO2 emission lap in mainstream racing.”

Hydrogen captured headlines in the 1990s, many envisioning it as the fuel of the future since it essentially produces no tailpipe emissions. Over the past decade, the gas has taken a technical back seat to battery power but there are signs of renewed interest as electric vehicles stall in the marketplace.


Is Formula One Going Green?

FIA considering new battery car series.

by on Apr.05, 2011

FIA Chief Jean Todt is charged up about racing electric cars, and may launch the first series by 2013.

Hitting 200-plus miles an hour down the straight you’re likely not thinking much about matters like mileage or CO2 emissions.  But up in the Formula One suites, well, that’s another matter entirely.  And after encouraging teams to develop hybrid systems for their F1 racers, the sport’s top brass may be ready to take things to the next level.

The Formula One governing body is planning to launch a series of electric car race series that could eventually generate a battery-powered rival to F1 itself.

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“We want, as soon as possible, to have new categories with new energy,” Jean Todt, president of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, or FIA, told the British newspaper, the Telegraph.

Don’t look to find Michael Schumacher behind the wheel, at least not initially, nor is it clear whether major players like Ferrari or Team Red Bull will be signing on up front.