Innovative Turbo Hydrogen Sports Car for Alpine Enthusiasts

Upcoming upgrade to a larger V-6 for improved performance in compact car.

Certain car manufacturers are firm in their belief that preserving the combustion engine is essential. Toyota, for example, is confident that it can achieve this by converting the internal combustion engine to run on hydrogen instead of traditional fossil fuels. Porsche and Lamborghini, on the other hand, are exploring the possibility of using synthetic fuels as a solution. Renault’s high-performance division, Alpine, also supports hydrogen technology, as demonstrated by the Alpenglow Hy4 – a prototype showcasing this innovative approach.

An advancement from the stationary 2022 Alpenglow design, the Hy4 is now a functional prototype. It features a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that produces 340 horsepower. The four-cylinder engine can rev up to 7,000 rpm and is powered by three hydrogen tanks, each holding 4.6 pounds of hydrogen at a pressure of 700 bar. The power generated is transmitted to the wheels through a sequential transmission.

If you are disappointed with the current four-cylinder engine, Alpine is in the process of developing a larger engine. This new V-6 has been created entirely by Alpine and is designed specifically for hydrogen-powered vehicles. The next version of the Alpenglow, potentially named the Hy6, is set to debut in late 2024. In the meantime, the Hy4 is gearing up for its track debut.

Tomorrow, the new car will be unveiled to the public at Spa-Francorchamps during a six-hour endurance race as part of the FIA WEC 2024 season. Following this debut, it will journey to France to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans scheduled for June 14-15.

The Hy4 differs from the original Alpenglow concept due to Alpine’s adjustments to the body. The crash structure has been altered to fit a two-seat cabin, and the hydrogen tanks are now integrated into the side pods. Additionally, the vehicle is slightly taller and features an updated aero package, highlighted by a new roof scoop.

Alpine is convinced that the powertrain technology found in the Hy4, although designed for track use only, could also be suitable for a street-legal vehicle. The French automaker even goes as far as stating that a hydrogen-powered internal combustion engine could be a “tremendously promising solution for road use.”

The concept of converting a combustion engine to operate on hydrogen predates Toyota’s testing with the GR Yaris and GR Corolla. In 2005, BMW showcased a V-12 7 Series equipped with a 6.0-liter engine running on hydrogen. Looking back even further, the renowned German automaker engineered a 5 Series (E12) to run on liquid hydrogen in the late 1970s. This particular model, known as the 520h, is highlighted in a video by BMW Group Classic.

Inside BMW Group Classic - Cleaner Driving with Hydrogen

Source: Alpine

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