While most of the automotive world turns towards electrification, few still believe in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. One of those is Hyundai. The company is one of the few manufacturers to offer hydrogen fuel cell models like the Nexo SUV.
Recently, the South Korean automaker teamed up with Forze Hydrogen Racing from the Technische Universiteit Delft (Delft University of Technology) in the Netherlands. Together with a team of 60 students, their goal is to build a lightweight hydrogen race car and explore the limits of fuel cell racing.
Called the Forze IX, the first iteration of the race car is expected to be completed by 2021 with one balance of plant. Then in 2022, the team will implement the second balance and finish the car. Once complete, Hyundai and the team expect to have built the world’s fastest fuel cell electric racing car.
The numbers Hyundai released on the Forze IX even match some of the hypercars on sale today. Hyundai claims upcoming the fuel cell racer will have 815 horsepower (600kW) and all-wheel drive. Top speed will be rated at 300 km/h, and 0 to 100 km/h will take less than three seconds. The fast acceleration time will be made possible due to the car’s weight – only 1,500kg.
“Forze is an exciting team made up of some of the brightest young minds, and with a proven pedigree of bringing fuel cell mobility to the race track. Hyundai is delighted to enter into this partnership with Forze. By drawing on our leadership in fuel cell mobility and Forze’s ambition to take hydrogen to the next level, together we will push the boundaries of what’s possible in the development of zero-emissions racing,” says Tyrone Johnson, Head of Vehicle Development at Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center.
If Hyundai manages to build the car with all the goals met, it could signal a big future for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Who knows, the automaker might even take what they learned and apply it to their N performance models.