Pininfarina’s radical H2 Speed hydrogen concept car will become reality

At the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina unveiled the H2 Speed concept, a hydrogen fuel cell race car intended to predict the future of motor sports.

Flashy concept cars like the H2 Speed usually get their 15 minutes of fame on an auto-show stand, then disappear. That may not be the case with this one, though, as Pininfarina is considering a limited production run of 10 copies, according to Automotive News (subscription required). Speaking to the trade journal at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, CEO Silvio Pietro Angori said the H2 Speed would be a “racing car for gentleman drivers.”

Read more: Can Japan’s newest supercar make Ferrari green with envy?

The track-only production cars will be based on a Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP 2) chassis, giving Pininfarina a foundation that is already approved for competition to work off of. The fuel cell stack will power a pair of electric motors, which will send at least 503 horsepower to the rear wheels. The powertrain will be developed by GreenGT, a French company that has worked to introduce fuel cells to racing over the past few years.

Pininfarina already claims to have buyers lined up for the car, even with an estimated price tag of $2.5 million. The company hopes to have a working prototype completed by early next year, and deliver the production models around 12-14 months after that.

CEO Angori is also adamant that Pininfarina will turn a profit on these cars, something that’s likely as important to the company as pushing the boundaries of race car design. Pininfarina has produced many iconic car designs over the years, but it recently fell into financial trouble. Last year, Indian carmaker Mahindra purchased a controlling interest in the Italian firm.

The H2 Speed could help put Pininfarina back in the spotlight. If the company really is serious about racing the car, it will be much more than another expensive toy for rich people. Putting a hydrogen fuel cell car on track in a real race series could be a major leap forward for the technology, and help make racing more sustainable.

Cars

Kia’s HabaNiro concept is an autonomous electric car that knows when you’re sad

Debuting at the 2019 New York Auto Show, the Kia HabaNiro concept is supposed to preview the future of the everyday car. That future will include artificial intelligence tech that can read the driver's emotions, according to Kia.
Cars

From rugged wagons to hot sports cars, the 2019 NY Auto Show brought it all

From city cars to supercars, anything goes at the New York Auto Show. Automakers from all over the globe traveled to the 2019 show to unveil their newest concept cars and production models.
Cars

Genesis’ all-electric Mint concept proves small cars can still be stylish

Unveiled ahead of the 2019 New York Auto Show, the Genesis Mint concept is a future electric city car with scissor doors in place of a traditional hatchback. Genesis likely won't put it into production, however.
Cars

Karma Automotive unveils two head-turning concept cars, quicker 2020 Revero GT

Karma Automotive brought three new cars to the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show, including a long overdue redesigned version of its Revero plug-in hybrid, an all-electric concept car, and a concept coupe designed in concert with legendary Italian…
Cars

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.
Cars

21 charged in Chicago carsharing heist; 100+ cars stolen, many still missing

More than 100 Mercedes-Benz vehicles belonging to carsharing service Car2Go were stolen in Chicago. Police are still working to recover all of the cars, which are equipped with GPS, and 21 people have been charged.
Cars

The VR goggles you wear to shoot alien ships is helping Magna design car parts

Canadian automotive supplier Magna has started using virtual reality in its research and development department. The technology helps engineers get a better view of what they're working on, whether it's an interior part or a powertrain.
Cars

Toyota leads $1 billion investment in Uber’s self-driving tech division

In a move that has been a long time coming, Uber filed its S-1 documents, which sets the stage for the company to finally go public with an initial public offering. The company could be valued at more than $100 billion.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Samsung Galaxy Fold woes, zombie pigs, and more

Today's topics: Samsung Galaxy Fold, Facebook A.I. voice assistants, YouTube comes to Fire TV, facial recognition on airline flights, the SpaceX DART program, Yale's zombie pigs, and much more!
Cars

Electric car buying guide: What you need to know before you buy

EVs are better than they've ever been, but buying your first battery-powered car can be an intimidating experience. Digital Trends has compiled a comprehensive guide that walks you through the process of buying an EV.
Cars

Carbuying can be tiring: Here are the best used car websites to make it easier

Shopping for a used car isn't easy, especially when the salesman is looking to make a quick sale. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites aimed at the prospective buyer, whether you're looking for a sedan or a newfangled hybrid.
Cars

Apple’s interest in self-driving cars reported to be revving up

A new report suggests that Apple is in talks with a number of suppliers to purchase lidar sensors, an essential tool for self-driving cars. The news is once again spiking rumors that Apple might be building vehicles.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Cars

Café racer-inspired ebike hits 28 mph quickly and quietly with carbon belt drive

Ebike manufacturer Electra launched the Café Moto Go, an advanced ebike. The Café Moto Go's step-over frame was inspired by café racers. The Café Moto Go is a premium performance ebike built to run smoothly and extra quietly.