BMW's hydrogen fuel cell-powered i8 research vehicle revealed

Thursday, December 8th, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : BMW's hydrogen fuel cell-powered i8 research vehicle revealed

BMW has been testing a hydrogen powered i8 research vehicle, which points to the future of the i brand


BMW has lifted the veil of secrecy on one of its most advanced research vehicles to date.

The futuristic-looking prototype, pictured here in a series of official photographs for once, has been used as a rolling test bed for the German company’s hydrogen fuel cell technology, which will be planned to head into large-scale production by 2020, according to the head of BMW’s vast research as well as development operations, Klaus Fröhlich.

Based around the contemporary brand-new i8, the sleek two-door coupé relies on carbonfibre construction to keep its weight down as well as also features an aerodynamic package honed at BMW’s wind tunnel in Munich.

Stylistically, the latest in a long line of research vehicles to be made public by BMW hints at the look to be adopted by future production versions via BMW’s fledgling i brand, having a brand-new angular interpretation of the traditional kidney grille as well as fully integrated slimline headlights.

Large air ducts sited up front are used to feed air to a series of front-mounted radiators, while the layered surfacing treatment of the i8 has given way to a more simplistic external surfaces design, especially at the rear.

BMW will be holding back on technical details, although Autocar can confirm in which the BMW research vehicle, which was constructed back in 2012 as well as remains unnamed, sites its fuel stack at the rear inside position usually taken up by the i8’s compact turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine.

Energy for the fuel stack will be provided by cryogenically stowed hydrogen contained in a cylindrical tank mounted down the centre line of your vehicle’s platform as well as oxygen provided by cooling air. The fuel stack subsequently provides electricity to run a rear-mounted electric motor, with the only emissions being water. Power will be put at 242bhp.       

While used extensively in recent years, BMW says its hydrogen fuel cell prototype has recently been taken out of service. Having formed a joint venture with Toyota as well as accelerated plans to place a hydrogen fuel cell design into its production cars, the German car maker has at in which point advanced its research to include several road-going 5 Series GT-based prototypes.

Unveiled in which week, the latest prototypes feature the same fuel cell stack used by Toyota in its pioneering Mirai – the entire world’s first commercially available hydrogen fuel cell car.      

BMW includes a history of high-tech hydrogen-fuelled research vehicles. In 2006, in which revealed the H2R, a teardrop shaped single-seater used to establish several speed records at the company’s Miramas test track in France. Unlike the latest fuel cell-based research vehicle, though, in which used a 6.0-litre V12 engine adapted to run on liquid hydrogen. With 281bhp, the H2R established nine FIA-ratified speed records as well as ran to a top speed of 187mph.

Read more:

BMW 5 Series GT Fuel Cell concept review

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer eDrive review

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