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BMW’s H2R Hydrogen Racer with carbon fibre body sets nine records making the start of the hydrogen age for automobiles.
“BMW technology has come a long way. Now, together with politicians and the energy industry, we must turn our vision of sustained mobility into reality,”” says Professor Burkhard Goschel, Board Member of the BMW Group.
The records were set at the high-speed Miramas Proving Grounds in France, with BMW Group proving that hydrogen is able to replace conventional fuel without requiring the driver to make the slightest compromise in terms of dynamic performance.
The single-seater H2R Record Car uses a 6.0-litre 12 cylinder power unit producing in excess of 210 kW, that races to 100 km/h in just six seconds and has a top speed of 302,4 km/h. The engine is based on the V12 unit powering BMW’s flagship limousine, the 760Li. The hydrogen combustion engine boasts the most advanced technologies such as BMW’s fully variable VALVETRONIC valve train control.
BMW will be launching a dual-mode version of the current 7 Series during the production cycle of the present model, thus introducing the first car of its kind able to run on both hydrogen and petrol.
The hydrogen combustion engine BMW set a number of speed records with the including a top speed of over 300 km/h, proving the power and performance of the hydrogen engine as well as the reliability and durability of the technology.
BMW has developed the hydrogen engine to production standard because the combustion power unit, given the sum total of all its features and characteristics, still offers the largest number of advantages and benefits all in one.
The BMW H2R was conceived, designed and developed by BMW Forschung und Technik GmbH, the legendary subsidiary of BMW AG, in just 10 months.
The H2R (“H2R” stands for “H two Race Car”, “Hydrogen Record Car” or “Hydrogen Research Car”) employs components carried over from a sophisticated, thoroughbred BMW sports car. It features a monocoque aluminium spaceframe chassis and suspension with an aluminium body skeleton covered with carbon fibre reinforced plastic panels. Weighing in at 1560kg complete with full tanks and a driver at the wheel, the racer is extremely light and strong.
BMW has proven what the hydrogen car is able to offer, setting up 9 records for hydrogen-drive cars with combustion engine. “”Nine records marking the start into the hydrogen age. BMW technology has already come a long way. Now, together with politicians and the energy industry, we must turn our vision of sustained mobility into reality””, stated Professor Burkhard Goschel, Board Member of the BMW Group, during the speed record trials in Miramas. Achieving this amazing success at the high-speed Miramas Proving Grounds in France, the BMW Group has clearly proven its conviction that hydrogen is able to replace conventional fuel without requiring the driver to make the slightest compromise in terms of dynamic, up-to-date performance.
Indeed, the specifications of the H2R Record Car clearly confirm this superiority, the six-litre 12 cylinder power unit developing an output of more than 210 kW or 285 bhp. This accelerates the BMW prototype to 100 km/h in approximately 6 seconds and gives it a top speed of 302.4 km/h (185,52 mph). Based on the gasoline power unit featured in the BMW 760i, BMW’s hydrogen combustion engine boasts the most advanced technologies such as BMW’s fully variable VALVETRONIC valve drive.
The main modifications to the engine involve the fuel injection system adapted by BMW to the special features and requirements of hydrogen.
BMW’s future hydrogen engine for the world’s first premium saloon built for dual-mode operation: BMW will be launching a dual-mode version of the current 7 Series during the production cycle of the present model, thus introducing the first car of its kind able to run on both hydrogen and gasoline.
A significant advantage of the higher combustion pressure of the hydrogen/air mixture is that the generation of more power from the same amount of energy means a higher degree of efficiency.
The fuel system featured in the BMW H2R Record Car is based on a proven series development concept. Fuel is filled into the tank of the H2R prototype at a mobile hydrogen filling station through a manual tank coupling. The vacuum-insulated, double-walled tank has a capacity of more than 11 kilos of liquid hydrogen and is fitted next to the driver’s seat. A total of three valves ensure optimum safety, the operating valve on the tank opening at a pressure of 4.5 bar.
Focusing on the structure and chassis of the BMW H2R Record Car, the engineers and development specialists at BMW Forschung und Technik GmbH used series components carried over from a sophisticated, thoroughbred BMW sports car: the monocoque aluminium spaceframe as well as the entire chassis and suspension system. High-strength aluminium structure panels using the advantages of aluminium as a particularly light material resistant to corrosion fill in the open spaces between the extra-large extrusion-pressed profiles giving the car its stable “”skeleton””.
The result for the driver is an absolutely excellent, direct driving experience without the slightest vibration or body “”tremble””.
The front suspension is based on a double-wishbone spring strut front axle together with rack-and-pinion steering, aluminium track control arms, a tiebar, and an anti-roll bar. The front axle subframe is formed by a welded aluminium structure made up of extrusion-pressed profile bars and plates holding all front axle components and bolted to the body at six points. The track control arm made of forged aluminium comes complete with two ball joints in the interest of precise wheel guidance and directional stability.
Wheel guidance and stability at the rear is provided by an integral four-dimensional axle, a multi-arm principle patented by BMW and rounded off in this case by an anti-roll bar. Optimum road contact and safety, finally, is ensured by tyres measuring 245/40 x 19.
BMW’s designers have also given the H2R Record Car a truly unique body: Measuring 5.40 metres in length and 2 metres in width, the body of the car is designed through and through for optimum streamlining. And to reach record speeds, the frontal area measures just 1.85 square metres and the drag coefficient is a mere 0.21. At the rear a 20-centimetre-long diffuser prevents air swirl behind the car, which might potentially slow it down.
The side profile and sheer length of the H2R prototype also serve to ensure stable driving characteristics at very high speeds. Like on a Formula 1 racing car, the outer skin is made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic offering the optimum combination of superior stiffness and low weight: Overall weight of the H2R with a full tank and the driver at the wheel is 1560 kg or 3440 lb.
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