French sportscar maker, Alpine, has teased a hydrogen supercar concept set to debut later this month. The project was done in collaboration with the European Institute of Design (IED) and features the work of Master’s students as part of their Transportation Design thesis project. It explores the development of extreme performance concepts within the realm of sustainability.
Officially named the A4810, the Alpine hydrogen-powered supercar concept is due to be fully revealed on March 18. Rather than rolling out a trite battery-electric setup, Alpine and IED have instead decided to explore a more technically interesting hydrogen powertrain. The teaser doesn’t mention if the hydrogen-powered Alpine will use fuel cell technology to power an electric powertrain, or if it will straight up burn hydrogen in a combustion engine.
Alpine’s parent company, Renault, recently teased a new concept crossover equipped with a hydrogen combustion engine. The company claims it’s an unprecedented concept car, which is true, considering most of the industry has been preoccupied building full-size RC cars and trying to figure out how to make money from charging infrastructure. Neither Renault nor Alpine had previously mentioned hydrogen combustion prior to the recent announcements.
The Growing Upside And Interest Of Hydrogen Power
Despite the firm condemnation of hydrogen combustion engines brought forward by terminally online experts who definitely know more than everyone else, more and more automakers are starting to bring hydrogen-fueled projects to the foray.
Toyota has been investing in hydrogen-fuelled internal combustion engines since 2017, and recently showed off a 5.0L V8 capable of burning the world’s most abundant molecule. Toyota has also been racing three-cylinder hydrogen-powered Corollas in Japan for the past year, with plans to continue in 2022.
On the more exotic side of things, there’s the 1,000-mile Hyperion XP1 supercar, which looks like it was designed for the year 3022, and promises Bugatti-rivaling performance with a 0-60 estimate of 2.2 seconds.
For trucks and commercial vehicles, Stellantis announced vague plans for a hydrogen-powered Ram HD within the decade, while Cummins is developing a line of fuel-agnostic HD engines, including the 6.7 ISB inline-6, capable of running on hydrogen or natural gas. There’s also the wonderful work being done by former General Motors and Lingenfelter Performance engineer, Mike Copeland, retrofitting LS engines with hydrogen injection. Lastly, the crazy minds over at Scuderia Cameron Glickhenhaus have begun development of a hydrogen-powered Boot race truck to compete in the treacherous Baja 1000, which will certainly help serve as an ultimate proving ground for the technology.