Alpine Unveils Hydrogen-Powered Alpenglow Hy4 Concept at Spa-Francorchamps

Alpine introduces the Alpenglow Hy4, a proof-of-concept sports car featuring a hydrogen combustion turbo engine. The car will make its public debut at the TotalEnergies 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps Endurance Race on May 11, 2024.

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Alpine Unveils Hydrogen-Powered Alpenglow Hy4 Concept at Spa-Francorchamps

Alpine Unveils Hydrogen-Powered Alpenglow Hy4 Concept at Spa-Francorchamps

Alpine, Renault's performance brand, has introduced the Alpenglow Hy4, a groundbreaking proof of concept sports car featuring a hydrogen combustion turbo engine. This innovative vehicle, an advanced version of the 2022 Alpenglow concept, boasts a fully functional running prototype that will make its public debut at the TotalEnergies 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps Endurance Race (FIA WEC) on May 11, 2024.

Why this matters: The development of hydrogen-powered vehicles has significant implications for the automotive industry's transition to sustainable energy sources, potentially reducing greenhouse gas emissions and meeting carbon neutrality goals. As the industry moves towards decarbonization, innovations like the Alpenglow Hy4 could pave the way for widespread adoption of eco-friendly technologies.

The Alpenglow Hy4 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine that delivers an impressive 340 horsepower and is capable of revving up to 7,000 rpm. The car's hydrogen fuel is stored in three tanks, each holding 2.09 kg of hydrogen at a pressure of 700 bar. Power is transmitted through a sequential transmission system.

Alpine sees the 4-cylinder engine as a working phase before the presentation of an all-new V6 engine specifically designed to be powered by hydrogen. This larger, in-house developed engine is expected to be unveiled in a second rolling version, potentially named the Hy6, before the end of 2024. Bruno Famin, Vice President of Alpine Motorsports, stated,"As part of our active participation in decarbonizing motorsports, we see the hydrogen internal combustion engine as an extremely promising solution. We know that hydrogen will be an essential step in decarbonising the next generations of Endurance cars, and could also be for Formula 1 cars, particularly by switching to liquid storage for greater compactness and performance."

The Alpenglow Hy4's design has been altered to accommodate a two-seat cabin and embed the hydrogen tanks into side pods. The car has been made slightly taller and features a reworked aerodynamic package, highlighted by a new roof scoop. These modifications align with Alpine's vision for the potential application of this powertrain technology in future street-legal models.

The Renault Group, Alpine's parent company, is actively working towards carbon neutrality objectives in Europe by 2040 and worldwide by 2050. The group is exploring various ways to utilize hydrogen, including fuel cell-powered light commercial vehicles, hydrogen recharging stations, and hybrid technology that combines an electric motor with a hydrogen range extender powered by a fuel cell.

Following its debut at Spa-Francorchamps, the Alpine Alpenglow Hy4 will also participate in demonstration runs at the 92ndeditionof the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 14 and 15, 2024. As Alpine continues to push the boundaries of automotive innovation, the Alpenglow Hy4 stands as a testament to the brand's commitment to decarbonizing motorsports and developing sustainable high-performance vehicles for the future.