BMW might return to endurance racing in a hydrogen fuel cell car

BMW V12 LMR
It seems like there’s a lot of rumblings in motorsports lately about who’s returning to Le Mans, and now we can add the distinct blare of a BMW into the mix.

According to Autocar, the Bavarian automaker is considering a return to endurance racing, and they are allegedly looking into hydrogen power to set it apart from the rest.

Le Mans has always been a testbed for vehicle innovation, particularly when it comes to power. Diesel engine tech — particularly in the hands of Audi — has supplied many with staying power, and now hybrid systems rule the top LMP1 class. BMW might see hydrogen fuel cells as the key to its success.

BMW V12 LMR

It’s understood that the return to endurance racing will be the precursor to a hydrogen fuel-celled production car, slated to debut near 2020. If you’re asking yourself why, after all the effort put into the BMW i cars, a hydrogen car would join that lineup: Currently, the i-brand is made up of the i3 city car and the i8 hybrid sports car, and it only stands to reason that by 2020, the lineup would have expanded.

We know that a BMW already has a few hydrogen-powered prototypes kicking around in the guise of the 5 series, and that it has partnered with Toyota in developing a hydrogen system based on the one found int the Mirai.

In the meantime, BMW’s possible return to Le Mans raises many questions. For one, if it were to return, would it come back as official factory team, or would it feature a car in a noncompetitive category, similar to the Nissan DeltaWing? In which class would it look to compete?

Whatever the case, we hope the rumors turn out to be true. BMW has a storied history all across motorsport, and we’d be happy to see it throw down with the endurance elite once again.

Product Review

Mercedes-Benz updates the timeless G-wagen for the modern world

For decades, the G-Class has been an outlier in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio, a body-on-frame brute with the soul – and driving manners – of an off-road pickup. With the all-new G550, Mercedes seeks to smooth out some of the rough edges.
Business

Can Amazon deliver on plan to slash carbon footprint of shipments?

Amazon has announced an ambitious plan to halve its shipment carbon footprint by 2030. The company says improvements in electric vehicles, aviation bio fuels, reusable packaging, and renewable energy make the goal reachable.
Cars

Alfa Romeo’s latest Ferrari-powered F1 race car is ready to hit the track

Alfa Romeo is doubling down on Formula One racing after a decades-long hiatus. Now essentially a support team for Ferrari, its 2019 driver lineup includes a former world champion and a potential future star.
Cars

Nissan is using old Leaf batteries to power and connect off-the-grid campers

Nissan has teamed up with trailer manufacturer Opus to design a mobile, weatherproof power pack built with battery cells sourced from the first-generation Leaf. Called Roam, the pack stores enough electricity to power a camper for up to a…
Emerging Tech

Photosynthesizing artificial leaf may be the air-cleaning tool we’ve dreamed of

Engineers from the University of Illinois at Chicago have invented an artificial leaf which could both clean up our air and provide a cost-effective type of fuel. Here's how it works.
Cars

2019 RAM 1500 Classic Warlock special edition: Badass style without the whoop

If you like the looks of blacked-out badass trucks without the cost of a desert racer, FCA announced the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock, a special edition pickup that focuses on appearance with only a touch of additional off-road capability.
Cars

2020 GMC Acadia toughens up on the outside, gets smarter on the inside

The 2020 GMC Acadia crossover gets styling updates and a more rugged AT4 trim level. Under the skin, the Acadia sports a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a wider array of tech features.
Cars

Researchers teach self-driving cars to predict pedestrians’ next moves

University of Michigan researchers are developing a system that teaches self-driving cars to predict pedestrian movement. Humans don't always act in their own best self-interest, so autonomous cars will need to practice protective driving.
Cars

Subaru’s latest VIZIV concept car is pumped full of adrenaline

The Subaru VIZIV Adrenaline is the seventh member of the Japanese automaker's family of VIZIV concept cars. It debuts at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, but for now, all we're getting is a shadowy teaser image.
Cars

Audi is advancing the tech that teaches cars to talk to traffic lights

Audi is teaching its cars the language of traffic lights. The company developed technology that tells motorists what speed they should drive at in order to catch as many green lights as possible.
Cars

Waymo rules and Apple trails in California self-driving car benchmarks

California's DMV releases annual reports of self-driving car disengagements on public roads. In the most recent reports. Waymo had the best performance, GM Cruise came in second, and Apple's self-driving program was in last place.
Cars

Watch a modified Audi e-tron electric SUV drive straight up a ski slope

A modified Audi e-tron climbed up an 85-percent gradient on an Austrian ski slope in a tribute to a classic Audi commercial. The vehicle used for the stunt sported an extra electric motor and spiked tires.
Cars

Mamma mia! Alfa Romeo will unveil a new model at the Geneva Auto Show

Alfa Romeo told Digital Trends it will unveil a new model at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show. It stopped short of revealing what it has in store, but rumors claim it will be a crossover positioned below the Stelvio.
Cars

Citroën says you could drive its tiny Ami One electric car without a license

Citroën's Ami One concept car is an electric vehicle that's as cute as it is compact. The miniature motor only has a top speed of 28 mph, so the French automaker imagines it as a shareable runaround for short drives.