Radical RXC Gets a 669 HP Hydrogen Power Plant

Hydrogen powered Radical RXC concept 5 photos
Photo: Cranfield University
Hydrogen powered Radical RXC conceptHydrogen powered Radical RXC conceptHydrogen powered Radical RXC conceptHydrogen powered Radical RXC concept
Hearing this for the first time you might ask how the funk did a company that exists for only 17 years make a hydrogen-powered vehicle that boasts over 600 hp while Toyota’s FCV can put out only around 135 hp. Well, reasons are many but the most important one is how the hydrogen gets used in the car
While Toyota is using a fuel cell in its FCV to combine hydrogen with oxygen and obtain electricity (and water), Radical’s RXC is going full bonkers and actually burns it in a modified internal combustion engine.

The Cranfield University of Bedford, UK, has been tasked recently to explore the possibility of a racecar fueled by hydrogen, with the substance appearing to be the future of transportation if someone finds a viable method to extract it efficiently from water or other gases. Among the premises, fuel cells were not allowed as the research was trying to find a cheap solution to future racing.

The research team decided to partner with Radical as their RXC racecar was exactly what they were looking for - a lightweight, very aerodynamical, mid-engined two-seater vehicle. So they put on their thinking caps, started some mathematical and finite element analysis programs, and they came up with this monster you see here.

Unfortunately, they only have it on paper, well on a hard drive... But their analysis results showed the hydrogen powered racecar is a doable project. It uses the same 3.7-liter Ford-sourced V6 from the RXC which got modified to be fed up with hydrogen from two high-pressure tanks mounted right behind the cockpit.

Using hydrogen, the engine actually does 223 hp more than its standard Radical counterpart, summing up to a total of 677 hp and 768 Nm (566 lb-ft) of torque all using 6.69 kg (14.7 lb) of compressed hydrogen gas.

The racecar’s structure has been also tested and results showed it can easily withstand the amount of power, so “the study demonstrates that the performance and safety of a low cost two-seater racecar powered by a hydrogen internal combustion engine can be achieved” as it’s being said in this analysis results sheet bellow.

The only thing they didn’t said is when are we going to see it actually racing in an all-new hydrogen class series.
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 Download: Hydrogen powered Radical RXC project (PDF)


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