Alpine Alpenglow HY4 Prototype Runs on Hydrogen

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Alpine Alpenglow HY4 Prototype Runs on Hydrogen
Alpine Alpenglow HY4 Prototype (Credits: Alpine)

Alpine, owned by Renault and planning to enter the American market by 2030, has introduced an experimental race car with a hydrogen engine, suggesting that the future might not be fully electric. This car, named the Alpenglow HY4, was first showcased as a concept in 2022 and has since undergone some changes, including an updated powertrain.

The Alpenglow HY4 features a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that runs on hydrogen, producing 340 horsepower and reaching a top speed of 167 mph. Unlike traditional engines that use gasoline, burning hydrogen is more complex due to the gas form in which hydrogen reaches the cylinders. Safety is a key concern, so Alpine has implemented a system to regulate hydrogen pressure before it reaches the engine.

Alpine will reveal the Alpenglow HY4 at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps endurance race in May 2024. While it won’t participate in the competition, the car will be showcased to demonstrate the potential of hydrogen-powered internal combustion engines in racing. The car will make demonstration runs at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June 2024.

Alpine Alpenglow HY4 Prototype Runs on Hydrogen
Alpine Alpenglow HY4 Prototype (Credits: Alpine)

Alpine believes that hydrogen technology holds promise for both racing and road cars. Renault, the parent company of Alpine, is exploring various ways to incorporate hydrogen solutions into its lineup, including hybrid applications combining hydrogen fuel cells with electric motors.

The decision to use a hydrogen-burning engine instead of a fuel cell has advantages. It offers a similar driving experience to gasoline engines and produces similar sounds, making it appealing for both drivers and spectators. Hydrogen-burning engines are easier to cool and provide efficient performance under heavy loads.

Looking ahead, hydrogen-powered cars will be allowed to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans starting in 2027. This aligns with Alpine’s strategy, as the Alpenglow HY4 concept resembles a Le Mans racer, indicating its potential for future racing competitions.


By Preksha Sharma

being me means you've got to love cars, coffee and gilmore girls. sorry i don't make the rules.

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