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2013-04-30 08:06

ZERO EMISSION RACE HISTORY: When it competes in May 2013, the hybrid Rapide S will become the first zero emissions car to complete a race pace lap at the Nürburgring 24-hour race. Image: YouTube

LONDON, England - Aston Martin has entered the record books with the first hydrogen-fuelled, zero emissions, lap of the Nurburgring Nordschleife in Germany.

The lap was completed on April 27 2013 with Aston Martin chief executive officer Ulrich Bez behind the wheel of a prototype Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S. The lap served as the testing ground ahead of formal record-breaking attempt at the ADAC Zurich 24 Hours of Nurburgring in May 2013.


Aston Martin engineers were using the four-hour Adac Acas H&R-Cup VLN series race as a test session ahead of the gruelling 24-hour during which the Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S will line-up alongside more than 200 GT cars.

Bez said: “I'm incredibly proud of the Aston Martin team and our partners Alset Global. We've written a little motorsport history with this qualifying lap as well as finishing the four-hour race on hydrogen and, of course, it bodes extremely well for our participation in the 24-Hours of Nurburgring.

“To have run full laps on hydrogen alone during the four-hour event was an exceptional ‘first’ and I now hope we can stabilise the system and further improve the Rapide S for the race with many zero-emissions laps.”

David King, director of special projects at Aston Martin, said: “This achievement should leave nobody in any doubt that the system we have developed with Alset Global is a viable and exciting option for the future.

“The creation of the Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S was, for Aston Martin, another high-profile way for us to mark our centenary in 2013 and to demonstrate our engineering capabilities in the most demanding environment of a major endurance race.

“This is the ultimate expression of our long-term strategy of using the Nurburgring 24-Hou to publicly demonstrate the abilities of our cars and our people.”


The hybrid Rapide S will compete in an experimental class (E1-XP) and will be refuelled with 3.5kg of hydrogen as well as petrol.

The prototype has a twin-turbo, six-litre V12 capable of running on petrol, hydrogen or a blend of both. In hydrogen mode the car's exhaust emits only water.

The Hybrid Hydrogen system comprises a hydrogen fuel-rail, storage tanks and engine management system. Safety is paramount and the system includes four ultra-strong carbon-fibre tanks for the liquid hydrogen stord at 350 bar pressure.

The race car is based on the new Rapide S four-door sports car arriving in Aston Martin showrooms worldwide in April 2013.

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