It’s a gas: Aston Martin Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S to compete in 24 Hours of Nürburgring

Aston Martin Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide SAn Aston Martin Rapide S will race in this year’s 24 Hours of Nürburgring. That isn’t too surprising, given that the Rapide S packs a 6.0-liter V12 and is based on Aston’s racy DB9.

What is surprising is that this Rapide S will also be partially powered by hydrogen.

Actually, the Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S, as Aston is calling it, can run on hydrogen, gasoline, or a combination of the two. Under the hood is the same V12 that powers the stock Rapide S, but with twin turbochargers.

Feeding those 12 cylinders is a constantly variable fuel mixture. Aston’s goal is to complete at least one lap of the Nürburgring on pure hydrogen, but gasoline will probably be doing most of the work.

The hydrogen will be stored in four carbon fiber tanks. Two will be placed next to the driver, and two will be in the trunk.

Aston Martin says the Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S will be “the first hydrogen-powered car to compete in an international event as well as the first zero CO2 emissions sports car to complete a race pace lap at the Nürburgring 24-hour race.”

Aston hasn’t released any performance statistics for the Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S. The standard Rapide S has 550 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. It will do 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 190 mph.

Aston Martin Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S diagramAs a maker of very traditional V12-powered sports cars, Aston Martin doesn’t seem like the kind of carmaker that would dabble in green tech. However, with emissions and fuel economy regulations getting stricter, the Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S makes a lot of sense.

So far, the laughably cynical Toyota iQ-based Cygnet has been Aston’s only response to emissions regulations. Eventually, it will have to follow the lead of Ferrari, McLaren, and Porsche, and think of something else.

Those three have bet their chips on battery-electric hybrids, but what if Aston decided to develop a hydrogen production car instead?

Fuel availability would obviously be an issue, but if enough early adopters (or people rich enough to buy their own hydrogen) signed on, who knows what could happen.

Aston could even adopt the Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S’ switchable fuel system for production, potentially lessening range anxiety.

Either way, the resulting car would be exactly an Aston Martin in every way that matters, but with an engine that burns hydrogen instead of gasoline. Talk about the best of both worlds.


In Moab, Jeep isn’t just having fun off-road; it’s planning its future

Every year, Jeep travels to the Moab Easter Safari to unveil a handful of concept cars. Some are based on production models, while others are classic rigs upgraded with modern components. It's fun, but the company is also planning its…

Renders of 2019 iPhone show surprisingly chunky camera module

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.

The best hybrid cars save on fuel without sacrificing fun

The best hybrid cars are fuel-efficient and all the rage, but which one should you buy? We’ve broken through the noise to let you know the best hybrid, and a few interesting alternatives from different categories.

Volkswagen prepares its electric ID R race car for its toughest challenge yet

The Volkswagen ID R electric race car will head to the Nürburgring to set a lap record. With Romain Dumas at the wheel, the ID R will try to become the fastest electric car around the grueling, 12.9-mile long track.

2019 Ford F-150 RTR gets a light dose of off-road, style upgrades

Vaughn Gittin Jr.'s RTR Vehicles is turning its attention to the 2019 Ford F-150 pickup truck. RTR gave Ford's bestseller new suspension components and tires, as well as more extroverted exterior styling.

Electric truck maker Rivian scores $500 million investment from Ford

Alongside Amazon, Rivian can now count Ford as one of its backers. The Blue Oval will invest $500 million in Rivian, and will use the company's "skateboard" chassis as the basis for a future electric vehicle.
Emerging Tech

Japanese taxis will use facial recognition to target you with ads as you ride

A Japanese startup is trying to reinvent in-taxi advertising by using facial recognition technology to identify the key characteristics of riders and then presenting them with appropriate ads.

The best diagnostic adapters monitor your car so you don't have to

Sometimes called dongles, the best car adapters will tell you what's wrong under the hood while help you keep tabs on your family and routine maintenance.

Nvidia agrees with Tesla’s take on self-driving cars, but corrects specifics

Nvidia vice president Rob Csongor agreed with broad statements by Elon Musk at Tesla's April 22 Autonomy Investor Day. Csongor then took exception to what he termed were inaccuracies about Nvidia's self-driving car chip.

Stop backing into your neighbor's car with the best backup cameras

The right backup camera will allow you to better avoid vehicles and other obstacles without taking your eyes off the road, rendering "sorry, I hit your car!" notes a thing of the past. Here are our current favorites.

Waze vs. Google Maps: Which map app should you be using?

Waze and Google Maps are two of the most popular apps for those looking for turn-by-turn navigation, yet there are some notable differences to point out. Here, we examine both to decide which offers the best feature set.

Tesla posts $702M Q1 loss as deliveries fall sharply; Musk promises turnaround

Tesla lost $702 million during the first quarter of 2019 as deliveries fell sharply, and demand for the Model X and the Model S flattened. The company predicts it will again lose money in the second quarter.

Ambitious but not rubbish: The best Top Gear episodes

Since its relaunch in 2002, Top Gear has become required viewing for any serious gearhead. The great moments from this show may seem too numerous to count, but we've managed to pick some of the highlights from the first 26 seasons.

Qiantu K50 electric sports car was designed in China, will be built in the U.S.

The Qiantu K50 is a Chinese electric sports car that will be marketed in the United States by California-based Mullen Technologies. The carbon-fiber bodied, 402-horsepower K50 is expected to go on sale in 2020.