The Apricale’s technology could land in passenger cars, aircraft, boats, and even heavy goods vehicles

A British startup known as Viritech and based in MIRA Technology Park is aiming to become the “world’s leading developer of hydrogen technology,” and it all starts with the development of the Apricale – a hydrogen-powered hypercar that promises 1,100 horsepower. The car itself will be sold in limited numbers for a price of around £1.5 million before taxes, but that’s not the whole story.

Why A Hydrogen-Powered Hypercar?

The Viritech Apricale – More Than Just The Worlds First Production Hydrogen Hypercar Exterior
- image 986156

With the recent advances in battery technology an cars like the Tesla Model S, Porsche Taycan, Rimac C_Two, Mercedes EQS, and even the future Audi A6 E-Tron all promising fairly impressive range with great performance, it seems like electric is the way to go, right? Well, the truth is that Hydrogen has always been on the back burner, with companies like Toyota, Hyundai, and Honda all involved in the development of fuel cell technology. Toyota, as a matter of fact, is even working on a hydrogen-burning gas engine that could make its way into road-production vehicles. The problem is that hydrogen isn’t quite as sustainable right now due to the cost and availability of Hydrogen in general, let alone the fact that there aren’t too many automakers focus on developing hydrogen fuel cell technology.

The Viritech Apricale – More Than Just The Worlds First Production Hydrogen Hypercar Exterior
- image 986159

And, that’s where the Viritech Apricale comes into play. As explained to Autocar, Viritech is developing the Apricale as a demonstration piece of sorts with its technology expected to trickle down to third parties for use in FCEV passenger vehicles, airplanes, boats, and everything in between. But why even bother if batteries are the next big thing? Well, according to Viritech co-founder Matt Faulks, who happens to be an ex-Formula 1 engineer, the big issue is weight:

“You run into two issues when you go down the battery route. One is the ‘mass compounding element’ - the more energy storage you need, the heavier the car gets.”
The Viritech Apricale – More Than Just The Worlds First Production Hydrogen Hypercar Exterior
- image 986155

The second issue is the availability of raw materials, including lithium, which isn’t exactly easy to come by nor is it heavily renewable:

“The second is the continued use of large amounts of raw materials in building very large battery packs, which are potentially recyclable, but even today we’re struggling to get lithium back out in a way it can be used again.”
The Viritech Apricale – More Than Just The Worlds First Production Hydrogen Hypercar Exterior
- image 986158

With the use of fuel cells, you don’t need massive battery packs because the energy needed to power electric motors is delivered on demand from the hydrogen. And, like battery packs, hydrogen fuel cells can become a structural element of the chassis, which ultimately reduces weight and cost while simplifying the structure. This design is in the process of being patented by Viritech and is called “graphene-reinforced hydrogen pressure vessels”

Fun Fact: The word Apricale comes from the Latin word Apricus, meaning “touched by the sun” – something that makes sense as our sun is composed of around 73-percent hydrogen

A Zero-Emission Hydrogen Electric Hypercar Can Look Beautiful

The Viritech Apricale – More Than Just The Worlds First Production Hydrogen Hypercar Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 986162

As you can see from the images we have here, the Apricale is downright gorgeous. Based on this conceptual design it looks like the fuel stacks are mounted in the central position for a near 50-50 weight distribution. It doesn’t seem to be a large car, but that’s the beauty of not needing massive battery packs or a massive engine in the mid- or rear position. It will obvious be a two-seats with a minimalist interior. With 1,100 horsepower and a very humble weight, the Apricale is probably going to be very fast and very agile.

The Viritech Apricale – More Than Just The Worlds First Production Hydrogen Hypercar Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 986161

Of course, these are just renderings for now as the car is currently in the conceptual phase. Development will take place in MIRA Technology Park in Warwiskshire with the plan to test the hypercar sometime in 2020. 25 examples will be built in total with deliveries expected to start by 2023. At current exchange rates, you’d have to pay around $2.1 Million. Further down the line, the company aims to build an SUV known as the Tellaro and even a truck that goes by the name Jovian. Be that as it may, the companies main focus is to developer hydrogen fuel cell technology for third-party use, which means the same tech in the Apricale could find its way into the everyday EVs that will grace the roads in the next decade.

How Do Hydrogen Fuel Cells Work?

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topsped.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: