Automotive

Forze VI hydrogen fuel cell car sets unverified Nürburgring lap record

Forze VI hydrogen fuel cell ca...
The Forze VI on the track
The Forze VI on the track
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The Forze VI on the track
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The Forze VI on the track

A hydrogen fuel cell car built by students from TU Delft university is claimed to have become the fastest of its kind to lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife. The Forze VI car was unveiled in 2013 by the Forze student racing team. It is said to have lapped the circuit in under 11 minutes on May 7.

Forze was set up in 2008 and has been developing hydrogen-powered racing cars since its inception. The team aims to race head-to-head with combustion engines in the coming years and ultimately to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race powered by nothing but hydrogen.

The Forze VI car has been two-and-a-half years in development, with the aim of beating the lap record for hydrogen fuel cell-powered cars on the Nordschleife. It uses a Ballard FC Velocity MK1100 stack fuel cell system, lightweight bodywork with a diffuser for improved aerodynamics, pushrod suspension and a planetary gear system.

The car is said to be six times more powerful than its predecessor, the Forze V, with an output of 100 kW (135 hp) and boost power of 190 kW (258 hp). It can accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) in less than four seconds and has a top speed of 210 km/h (130 mph).

According to Forze, the Forze VI reached speeds of up to 170 km/h (106 mph) during its stint on the Nordschleife. The team says that the sub-11-minute time in which it completed the 21-km (13-mile), 73-corner circuit is faster than that of any other hydrogen fuel cell car so far. Although the lap was not allowed to be timed, the on-board video from the vehicle gives an accurate indication of pace.

Team leader Menno Dalmijn says the lap data gathered will help the team to reach the higher power limits of the car, which he says has apparently only been driven at half-power to date.

The video below shows the Forze VI in action on the Nürburgring.

Source: TU Delft

Forze on the Nürburgring Nordschleife

6 comments
BZD
Cool. Not to take anything away from the students but I wonder what an Mazda RX-8 will do the Ring in. The rotary engine supposedly is "easily" made to run on Hydrogen and some years back Mazda had one running on the streets of Norway (The Norwegian experimented with making a Hydrogen infrastructure of sorts).
Freyr Gunnar
The problem is not performance: Current hydrogen-powered electric cars are way fast enough for way most people (average speed in the city? About 15mph at best). The problem is how to get that hydrogen. Currently, it's from natural gas. A fossil fuel. Until we find an economical way to get it from water, it's not news-worthy.
Pablo Mora
slower than 52hp citroen ax....
Dan Parker
Could really do without the intrusive, overly dramatic music.
Daishi
"Under 11 minutes" is still a minute slower than the 10:08 Top Gear clocked in the Ford Transit van. 11 minutes to go 13 miles is slow enough to avoid a speeding ticket on public roads.
BZD
@Freyr Gunnar. I agree that hydrogen currently makes no sense in that it either produced by use of fossil fuel or in the case where it is produced by the use of renewable energy there is to little hydrogen produced. However the potential is a good one. Like for instance we could find that say wind power may at times produce more power than can be used in which case the excess power could be made into hydrogen for later use (something that would more sense than those battery stations which Tesla is promoting). One place we could see hydrogen become a thing very soon is Denmark. All ready the wind power production there is so high that often there is excess power produced ie. more than 100% of the total electricity needed. Currently that power is simply exported to Germany, Sweden and Norway which in turn then let those countries either burn less fossil fuel or run less water from the dams through the turbines meaning the wind power is not wasted. However as Denmark expands the wind power production it may be that exporting simply isn't always an option so this is where hydrogen comes in.