BMW i8 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Research Vehicle, a project whose development was mostly completed in 2012, has been kept secret till now. Based on the same carbon fibre architecture of the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, the research vehicle has a meaner design which would feel right at home in a sci-fi movie.
The green sportscar gets sleeker kidney grille, narrow headlamps and fin like front and rear fenders. The rear fascia gets razor sharp edges and multi-layered aerodynamic rear bumper.
The 1.5-litre petrol engine has been replaced by a fuel stack. Hydrogen is stored cryogenically in a cylindrical tank that is located on the centre line of the car’s platform. Oxygen required for the process is extracted from cooled air.
The fuel stack powers the rear-mounted electric motor which has a rated power output of 242 bhp. It’s to be noted that BMW and Toyota have signed up for a technology partnership involving hydrogen fuel cell vehicle technology. The stalwarts would be continuing to improve the technology to make it a viable transport solution.
BMW has not talked about production prospects of its i8 Hydrogen FCV. The brand is using the research vehicle to gain expertise and valuable data.