Automotive

The Hyperion XP-1: A hydrogen hypercar with articulating solar panels

The Hyperion XP-1: A hydrogen ...
The wild Hyperion XP-1 fuel cell hypercar, complete with articulating solar panels
The wild Hyperion XP-1 fuel cell hypercar, complete with articulating solar panels
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Each of the wheels has six power buttons on it. You need to press them all to make it go
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Each of the wheels has six power buttons on it. You need to press them all to make it go
Outrageous air vortex intakes on the sides
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Outrageous air vortex intakes on the sides
A feather-light kerb weight contributes to the Hyperion's outrageous performance figures
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A feather-light kerb weight contributes to the Hyperion's outrageous performance figures
Head-on with the Hyperion XP-1
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Head-on with the Hyperion XP-1
How's that for a provocative back end?
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How's that for a provocative back end?
Mom! Somebody put hydrogen in my Chiron!
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Mom! Somebody put hydrogen in my Chiron!
Dusk falls, and the XP-1's solar panels sip their last precious energy
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Dusk falls, and the XP-1's solar panels sip their last precious energy
As well as a thousand-mile range, Hyperion has designed the XP-1 for sustained high-performance track thrashing
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As well as a thousand-mile range, Hyperion has designed the XP-1 for sustained high-performance track thrashing
A thoroughly outrageous design
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A thoroughly outrageous design
A car that looks this good damn well better go fast
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A car that looks this good damn well better go fast
An original and pretty awesome rear end
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An original and pretty awesome rear end
0-60 mph in less than 2.2 seconds will do the trick
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0-60 mph in less than 2.2 seconds will do the trick
The wild Hyperion XP-1 fuel cell hypercar, complete with articulating solar panels
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The wild Hyperion XP-1 fuel cell hypercar, complete with articulating solar panels
The solar panel loops can articulate to follow the movement of the Sun
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The solar panel loops can articulate to follow the movement of the Sun
Accent lighting throughout
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Accent lighting throughout
The ports at the rear: is that where the water drips out?
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The ports at the rear: is that where the water drips out?
A top speed over 221 mph puts the XP-1 a cut above most supercars
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A top speed over 221 mph puts the XP-1 a cut above most supercars
The Hyperion XP-1 will be an absolute event wherever it goes
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The Hyperion XP-1 will be an absolute event wherever it goes
Our best glance into the cabin, wherein a 98-inch touchscreen dominates
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Our best glance into the cabin, wherein a 98-inch touchscreen dominates
That front end is sharp
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That front end is sharp
Close up of the vortex inlets
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Close up of the vortex inlets
View gallery - 21 images

California-based company Hyperion has released images, video and some details about its wild-looking XP-1 hydrogen supercar, the first fuel cell performance car. Forget the Lucid Air's 517-mile range, this electric beast will go more than a thousand miles on a tank of H2.

The official range figure is 1,016 miles (1,635 km), on a 55 percent city/45 percent highway split. Hyperion doesn't yet specify how much hydrogen the car will be carrying to get that kind of range, but here's what we know about the powertrain.

The hydrogen storage systems will be carbon fiber, and these will feed a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell, which will create electric power to drive all four wheels. There will be a 3-speed transmission, which is unusual in an electric car, but this will allow a blistering 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) time under 2.2 seconds as well as a wild top speed in excess of 221 mph (356 km/h).

There will be an ultracapacitor of undefined specification hooked up to the drive system as well. This can act as highly efficient buffer storage for regenerative braking, as well as offering monster boost power rates when you drop the hammer – but Hyperion states the XP-1 will "consistently and reliably provide peak performance over extended driving sessions" on the road and track, so it's pretty clear the fuel cell will be a high-power unit.

A car that looks this good damn well better go fast
A car that looks this good damn well better go fast

Frustratingly, there are no peak power figures as yet, but the company's willing to put out a curb weight figure of less than 2,275 lb (1,032 kg), which makes this thing a featherweight in the supercar or hypercar classes.

The chassis will be a monocoque made from a carbon-titanium metal-composite matrix. The swoopy bodywork will be titanium-reinforced composite. The underbody diffuser will be kevlar-reinforced composite. The XP-1 will run big carbon-ceramic brakes – although we wonder if they'll get a chance to warm up given how powerful the regen system should be. Wheels are 21 inches at the front, 22 at the rear, with the option of carbon composites.

The carbon/titanium-accented interior will be dominated by a colossal 98-inch curved touchscreen, and if you don't want to touch it, there will be a gesture control system as well. The seats will be carbon as well, and covered in hand-stitched leather.

Our best glance into the cabin, wherein a 98-inch touchscreen dominates
Our best glance into the cabin, wherein a 98-inch touchscreen dominates

Now, we gotta talk about the jaw-dropping looks of this thing. It's absolutely outrageous, one of the most aggressively out-there and futuristic designs we've seen, from the wild gold-ringed vortex air ports on the front, back and sides to the huge clear-panel roof and some truly nutty rims.

The most prominent feature, of course, is the loopy black ribbons extending up from the rear, curling down over the hips and wrapping through to terminate under the upward-opening doors. And these, apart from making the XP-1 look uncomfortably close to the Bugatti Chiron from several angles, are another trick up this car's sleeve.

They're solar panels. And they don't just sit there, Hyperion says they can articulate to follow the sun. Why? Why not, I guess; they can feed a little charge into the ultracapacitor on the rare occasion you park it outside.

An original and pretty awesome rear end
An original and pretty awesome rear end

Ever since electric cars first started appearing, people have been asking why there aren't solar panels on top of them. Well, here's a quick back of the envelope for you on what the panels on the XP-1 might achieve. I've got 21 large, 2020-model solar panels on top of my house. I'd say the entire photovoltaic surface on the XP-1 might expose about as much as a single one of these panels to the Sun.

Over the course of a good day, one of my panels will pull in somewhere around 1.5 kWh, which is about enough to drive a Nissan Leaf six miles (10 km). So the Hyperion's gorgeous, curvy solar array seems to us like it's really mostly about looks. I don't have a problem with that, they look absolutely nutty and it's probably not that much more expensive to use photovoltaics than it would be to make the things in carbon anyway.

Without learning more about the hydrogen tech in this monster, it's hard to see where the XP-1 leads to. A thousand-mile range is indeed impressive, but on the other hand, it doesn't quietly fill itself up while you're at home the same way a battery car will. There will be plenty of parts of the world where even a thousand mile range won't get you to a hydrogen station.

The Hyperion XP-1 will be an absolute event wherever it goes
The Hyperion XP-1 will be an absolute event wherever it goes

Hyperion also has an aviation division, and speaks of using "spaceflight technology pioneered by NASA," which to us suggests this company might be into high-density liquid hydrogen and a future eVTOL project. But such questions will have to wait until we get hold of these guys for a chat.

In the meantime, the company is committing to building 300 of these XP-1 beasts, and I can see how they'd be a welcome addition to many collectors' garages; it's not every day somebody strikes out and builds the first hydrogen supercar, and the "are we in Tron now?" looks of the thing will make it stand out in any company. There's no price tag attached yet (if you have to ask...), but Hyperion aims to begin deliveries in 2022.

If Hyperion is hoping to make a splash, I'd say its design team has nailed the brief in spectacular fashion. We look forward to learning more! Check out a video below.

Hyperion XP-1: the hydrogen hypercar

Source: Hyperion

View gallery - 21 images
10 comments
Joseph Palumbo
I think they should look at the headlight height requirements. Looks great but I don't think you're going to pass DOT rules.
Username
Let's copy a Bugatti but make it ugly!
FB36
I would like to see crash test video/results w/ full hydrogen fuel tank (because fuel tanks are full in real world traffic accidents)!

Something tells me the company would never want/allow such a crash test!

(Hint: Because Hydrogen fuel is explosive!)
MarcBotts
Why must you constantly show machines practically no one can afford?
martinwinlow
Why must you constantly show machines that defy logic/taste/any real chance of ever being manufactured (let alone bought - I suppose there's always Jay Leno)? Or, in short, just 'why'?!
Venetian
If this becomes reality it will arguably make it the most stunning enviro hyper car in the universe. Many a car designer attempted a space jet fighter look, but these guys nailed it. To the anonymous troll who thinks this is an ugly Bugatti, you need your prescription refilled. Bugatti looks homely next to this beast and will be squarely getting the sads in the XP-1's rear view mirror.
buzzclick
It's one of those things that you either love it or hate it. This is the kind of machine that will constantly draw curious people's attention. If that's your cup of java, fine. Be prepared though because this kind of relentless adulation can get tiresome real quick. Better to stick to desert roads like in the video, but what's with the turbine soundtrack? Bit of a hype job.
wbm
let me break some hearts here

that car make my eyes wet, since days, and opens my (designer)-heart

its not even close to a bugatti from design because aerodynamicss are mostly the same on "each" car, as well as the details are clear

bugatti is a "boring german perfectionism car" without a taste

hyperion is all in one, perfection and american muscle at a lvl of 2020

i know i will not drive it this life, as well as i know what im aiming on next life, i want a hyperion

(no joke) ^^)

big thanks to the team and company ...
David V
This is an absolutely drop dead gorgeous car. How can you not love it. The mere fact that we even clicked on this post means it appeals to us. It'll probably never make it to the streets - as it is - but who cares. I'm hoping some of the tech in it may do. Even as a concept car it is a stunning exercise. Keep us informed !
guzmanchinky
Finally a hypercar (besides the Roadster) that looks to the future, not to the past...