Forze VI Breaks Nurburgring Lap Record For Fuel-Cell Powered Cars: Video
The world of high-performance hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles has been fairly quiet since the GreenGT H2 quietly missed its Le Mans debut in 2013. The electric-performance innovators have still been at work behind the scenes though, and students at the Delft University of Technology have just set a new track record for fuel-cell-powered vehicles at Germany’s famed Nürburgring. Dubbed the Forze IV, Delft’s fuel-cell EV racer has been evolving since 2007.
Like the GreenGT H2, the Forze project is underway with the intent of eventually competing with conventionally powered vehicles at Le Mans. The current iteration, Forze IV, is the sixth generation. Forze has been developing the car for two and a half years, and all of that work paid off on May 7 when the car lapped the Nürburgring in under 11 minutes, with ex-Formula One driver Jan Lammers at the wheel. The time was not officially recorded, as the run was made on a public day with other vehicles on the course. However, dash-camera timing showing a sub-11-minute run, plus team leader Menno Dalmijn’s assertion that the Forze IV was only running at half-power suggest that a serious record run around the 21-kilometer (13-mile) track will be forthcoming. Check out the video of the Forze IV’s Nürburgring run.
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Why it matters
In the march toward mainstream acceptability, alternative-fuel vehicles have taken to showcasing performance. After all, the few production hydrogen-fuel-cell vehicles are exciting from a technological standpoint, but not particularly showy. The Delft University of Technology team hopes to use the Forze VI to help show off the potential of hydrogen-fuel-cell cars in racing as well as in the real world.
During the Nürburgring run, the car hit speeds of 170 km/h.
According to the Forze team, the Forze VI has six times the power of the Forze V. The car is powered by a Ballard FC Velocity MK1100 stack fuel-cell system, and output from the two electric motors totals 190kW (258 horsepower).
The Forze VI’s lightweight body means that it boasts a 0-60 time of less than four seconds and tops out at 210 km/h (130 mph). During the Nürburgring run, the car hit speeds of 170 km/h. The twin tanks hold 3 kg of hydrogen, enabling 30 minutes of full-power driving. Refuelling takes three minutes.
The last high-profile attempt at a hydrogen-fuel-cell racer was the GreenGT H2, which was scheduled to run in the "Garage 56" class for innovative prototypes at the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans. GreenGT cited a need for more time to get the car ready. The twin-motor GreenGT H2 produced over 500 horsepower.