The Viritech Apricale is 1,000 Hydrogenated Horsepower of Pininfarina Design
The Pininfarina-styled hydrogen hypercar ushers a new age in sustainable mobility, by utilizing ground-breaking FCEV technologyby Dim Angelov, on
By now, it’s clear that the automotive industry’s main focus is on sustainability and “zero emissions”. While many are putting all their chips on electrification, some companies are exploring hydrogen as a viable alternative. Engineering firm, Viritech, is one such company and their hydrogen-powered supercar, the Viritech Apricale, promises to combine mind-shattering performance, zero emissions, and exquisite Italian styling.
The Viritech Apricale was officially unveiled on 23 June 2022, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. While not the only company to develop hydrogen powertrains, the Viritech Apricale is the first high-performance, hydrogen vehicle. Moreover, it boasts impressive figures such as 1,000 horsepower and a curb weight of just 2,205 pounds (1,000 kg). This allows the FCEV to combine the maneuverability of a modern-day supercar with the instant power delivery of an EV.
Performance figures are still scarce, but with the two electric motors producing a combined output of 1,014 horsepower, the Viritech Apricale should be capable of a top speed of 200 mph (322 km/h). Moreover, the Apricale boasts a range of 348 miles (560 km) per tank thanks to a hydrogen capacity of 11.9 pounds (5.4 kg). This is only slightly less than Toyota Mirai’s hydrogen capacity of 12.3 pounds (5.6 kg), which is the most of any hydrogen-powered vehicle produced so far. Moreover, Viritech engineers have a target of 500 miles (805 km) of range. This may hint at a less-powerful, single-motor variant of the car.
Thanks to innovative engineering, the Viritech Apricale comes with many industry firsts. This is the first lightweight, high-performance car that achieves zero emissions as well as the first hydrogen-powered production vehicle to use hydrogen propulsion as its primary powertrain, instead of a range-extender.
“Hydrogen fuel cells have, until now, been used as range extenders for powertrains with batteries at their heart. We’ve essentially turned that approach on its head, developing a powertrain around multi-hundred kW fuel cell system supported by a lightweight but highly efficient battery. This delivers hypercar performance for Apricale, but at less than half the weight of typical BEV hypercars”, Viritech CTO, Matt Faulks, explains.
Rooted in Motorsport, Priced Accordingly
The Viritech Apricale benefits from motorsport know-how. As such, co-founder, Matt Faulks also explained that “as a motorsport guy” (with a background in Formula One), he did not want to build a car “that weighed two tons”. One of the biggest problems with FCEV cars is the hydrogen storage, and the weight of the hardware since the fuel cell would need to withstand 10152.6 Psi (700 bars) of pressure.
Viritech “dresses” the Apricale’s advanced tech in a Pininfarina-designed body that harkens back to the classic mid-engine layout. While a subjective matter, the Italian design studio has come up with nothing short of an epic compilation of some of the best design features seen on modern-day hypercars.
The Viritech Apricale will be released in a limited production run, with each one setting you back £1.5 million ($1.84 million, according to current exchange rates) before tax. However, the main purpose of the hydrogen hypercar is to showcase its innovative, FCEV technology and make it available to third-party companies, for road, marine, and aviation applications. Moreover, to demonstrate flexibility, Viritech engineers have shown the Tellaro SUV design study, to show how the company’s lightweight FCEV technology can also be used for larger vehicles.
Viritech intends to be a major player in the future of sustainable mobility as CEO and founder, Timothy Lyons explains that “Becoming a member of the Horiba MIRA community is a game-changer for Viritech, moving us immediately into the big league in terms of the engineering facilities and support, meaning no engineering project is now beyond us. The hydrogen revolution will complement mobility electrification and will account for 400 million cars, 20 million trucks, and five million buses. And that revolution starts here.”