Sometime in the future, there will be a place in the world for a hydrogen-powered race car. You can even argue that such a time is upon us. But even that is probably getting a little ahead of ourselves. Then, there’s Radical Sportscars , which is known more for its raunchy band of sports racers. But hydrogen race cars ? Not so much. Or at least, not until now.
This is a Radical RXC , except that it isn’t just that. It’s actually a hydrogen-powered RXC. It still sounds a little too foreign for some people, but the truth is that hydrogen does have a future in the auto industry as an alternative energy source.
But Radical isn’t settling for that. It has a much bigger goal; one of which is to create a one-make racing series that will exclusively feature hydrogen-powered race cars.
Together with Cranfield University’s Advanced Motorsport Engineering postgraduate program, Radical set out to determine the viability of a low-cost, hydrogen-fueled racing prototype while using the RXC as its own guinea pig.
Click past the jump to read more about the Radical RXC Hydrogen Powered.
Radical RXC Hydrogen Powered In Detail
Radical and Cranfield University set out to see whether an RXC’s chassis and Ford-sourced V-6 engine could run on hydrogen. The caveat was that they had to make use of hydrogen, be it in compressed or liquid form, to feed the Ecoboost engine.
Unfortunately, the project isn’t expected to progress past the testing and development stages.
Numerous tests were done to ensure that the engine configuration was able to handle the new technology and produce performance numbers that are in line with our expectations of what a race car is capable of. Ultimately, Radical was able to use almost seven kg of compressed hydrogen to achieve an engine output of 669 horsepower and 567 pound-feet of torque.
Stringent testing was also done to ensure that the hydrogen powertrain could withstand the rigors of motor racing and for the most part, the collaborative project netted encouraging results.
Unfortunately, the project isn’t expected to progress past the testing and development stages. The whole point was to see if the exercise was even possible in the first place. To that end, the project was a success given the circumstances and the understandable limitations Radial and Cranfield University had in building a working prototype with a future in hydrogen racing.
It’s not exactly a direct competitor to the hydrogen-powered Radical RXC. But seeing as Aston Martin embarked on its own study of a hydrogen Rapide S, you can draw a few similarities from both projects.
Aston did take its project a few steps further, accomplishing a goal of running the Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring. That achievement gifted the vehicle with the distinction of being the first race car to complete emission-free laps in an international auto race.
That’s one of the goals of Radical’s hydrogen-powered RXC. With bigger funding and more hours inside the think tank, that goal could be achieved sooner than later.
The Radical RXC is clearly a niche model, one that isn’t really for everyone. But for those who like it, the RXC offers a sophisticated combination of race car looks and powerful performance numbers. The latter, in particular, comes in the form of a Ford -sourced, 3.7-liter, V-6 engine that produces 380 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque, good enough to hit 60 mph in 2.8 seconds with a top speed of 175 mph.