Hydrogen does not only mean top performance in rockets traveling to outer space:
BMW has proven what the hydrogen car is capable of, setting 9 records for cars
powered by a hydrogen-fuelled internal combustion engine. "Nine records marking
the start into the hydrogen age. BMW technology has already come a long way.
Now, together with politicians and the energy industry, we must turn our vision
of sustained mobility into reality", stated Professor Burkhard Goschel,
Board Member of the BMW Group, during the speed record trials in Miramas.
Achieving this amazing success at the high-speed Miramas Proving Grounds in
France, the BMW Group has clearly proven its conviction that hydrogen is able to
replace conventional fuel without requiring the driver to compromise dynamic
The specifications of the H2R Record Car are a testament to this possibility. The 6-liter V12 engine develops an output of more than 285 bhp or 210 kW. This engine propels the BMW prototype to 62 mph in approximately 6 seconds and gives it a top speed of more than 185.5 mph (302.4 km/h). Based on the gasoline power unit featured in the BMW 760i, BMW's hydrogen combustion engine boasts the most advanced technologies such as BMW's fully variable VALVETRONIC valve drive.
The main modifications to the engine involve the fuel injection system adapted by BMW to the special attributes and requirements of hydrogen. The H2R Record Car benefits from the results gained in series development of BMW's future hydrogen engine for the world's first premium sedan built for dual-mode operation.
BMW will launch a dual-mode version of the current 7 Series during the
production cycle of the present model, thus introducing the first car of its
kind able to run on both hydrogen and gasoline.
The H2R prototype set the following records shown here in terms of times measured and speed achieved (time in sec, speed in mph):
- Flying-start kilometer: 11.993 300.190
- Flying-start mile: 19.912 290.962
- Standing-start 1/8 mile: 9.921 72.997
- Standing-start 1 mile: 14.933 96.994
- Standing-start 1 kilometer: 17.269 104.233
- Standing-start mile: 36.725 157.757
- Standing-start 10 miles: 221.052 262.094
- Standing-start kilometer: 26.557 135.557
- Standing-start 10 kilometers: 146.406 245.892
BMW works drivers Alfred Hilger, Jorg Weidinger and Gunther Weber took turns at the wheel of the Record Car during their record-breaking session.
BMW's motive in setting up these records was not only to prove the power and performance of the hydrogen engine. In addition, the reliability and durability of the technology used clearly demonstrates BMW's leadership in developing the hydrogen engine to production standard. In this process BMW is concentrating on the combustion engine, simply because the combustion power unit, given the sum total of all its features and characteristics, still offers the largest number of advantages and benefits all in one.