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The hydrogen BMW i8 is pure evil
The hydrogen BMW i8 is pure evil
2 July, 2015 | by Vijay Pattni

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This isn’t BMW’s Mad Max moment, despite that 80s-spec bodywork. No, this is an experimental BMW i8 supercar, reworked as a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle.

It was presented at one of BMW’s ‘Group Innovation Days’ at its testing ground in France, which, as the name suggests, is a day full of weird and wonderful things we might see in the future. Things like the i8′s ‘standard’ drivetrain in a 2-Series Active Tourer, a water-injected BMW M4 engine with more power, and of course, this unnamed, i8-based hydrogen FCV and a hydrogen 5-Series GT.

We’re told this hydrogen i8 prototype was actually built in 2012 – before BMW signed a collaboration deal with Toyota – and is one of the very first i8 test mules made.

So it sits on the i8 platform, using – we suspect – much carbon fibre and many lightweight materials. Also, there’s more than a whiff of Terminator/Mad Max­-spec, future-Armageddon styling about it.

This i8 test vehicle gets a tunnel tank mounted in the middle of the car, capable of storing hydrogen at 350-bar pressure, with an estimated range of over 500km.

This hydrogen feeds a fuel cell stack – built in partnership with Toyota (the Japanese firm is working on getting a fuel cell EV to the road by 2020) – with the resulting power reaching an electric motor. Total system power stands at 200kW.

It’ll do 0-100kph in around six seconds, and top out at 200kph. Not exactly lightning, you’ll agree.

But, BMW reckons that this hydrogen tech allows for emission-free driving, ‘instantaneous power delivery and impressive dynamics’, and refuelling in under five minutes.

“Fuel cell technology makes an ideal addition to both the BMW i models and, in the future, the series-produced models from the BMW brand,” says BMW. “Storing hydrogen in a cryogenic pressure vessel can, depending on the type of vehicle, allow an operating range comparable with that of conventional vehicles powered by combustion engines.”

Though bear in mind because the car was built in 2012, the tech is probably a little off the pace. BMW also told us that because the emphasis is on ‘long distance driving’, we’re more likely to see a hydrogen-powered 5-Series before we see a hydrogen-powered i8.

As such, you’ll see from the above pictures that BMW also fitted this experimental drivetrain into a 5-Series Gran Turismo, and maps out a four-pronged approach to its powertrains: efficient, turbocharged combustion engines, plug-in hybrids, full battery EVs, and hydrogen.

More importantly, how much do you want a zero-emissions future sports car with Terminator bodywork?

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2013 Hyundai i20
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The following 1 user Likes maximus's post:
  • Twinz
Been checking the pics of this.. Insane.. I really do like it.. Glad to see they have Hydrogen on the table still.. CoolShake
'14 F30 335i MSport Alpine White III, Coral Red, Sat Nav, iDrive touch, PDC + reverse cam, Harman Kardon, N55 230wkw | 477wnm Rogue Performance Downpipe
'16 F30 318i LCI Manual, Alpine White III, Black Leather
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Mods: Optic Blue Lamin-X fogs, VPS light shields, CF Splitters, Mirrors, Ducktail spoiler, Aluminium interior trim upgrades...

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I hope hydrogen takes off. Its the answer to replacing petrol. No waiting hours to charge the battery and the car can power your house.
A couple people, particularly in the electric motor industry, have said that hydrogen is extremely inefficient and costly to produce, store, etc.

Maybe technology has improved fairly significantly in this area - I can't see why companies would sink money into something that noticeably worse than an alternate technology (in this case, electricity).

I also recall an article saying that BMW are the first group to start working with Tesla, which could lead to some cool, front-running tech.
Niiiice Inlove
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The following 1 user Likes Dewald Basson's post:
  • Fordkoppie

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