Hyperion launches futuristic hydrogen-fueled car

Hyperion launches futuristic hydrogen-fueled car

Carroll Shelby, who designed the classic Shelby Mustang in the sixties, once quipped: "I've always been asked, 'What is my favorite car?' and I've always said, 'The next one.'"

For futuristic automobile fans, "the next one" is here.

California-based Hyperion unveiled its XP-1 hydrogen supercar at a digital unveiling Wednesday and just brought the future one lap closer with its stunning, muscular configuration and eye-popping specs that leave the competition in the digital dust.

With a top speed of 221 mph, this powerhouse propels from zero to 60 mph in 2.2 seconds and can cruise for more than 1,000 miles on one tank of hydrogen.

The XP1 is not the first car to employ hydrogen for energy. The Hyundai Nexo, Toyota Mirai and Honda Clarity all use the lightweight gas. But they rely on lithium-ion batteries to help boost power. The XP-1 has ditched the weighty and instead incorporated a carbon-fiber energy storage system feeding a proton exchange embrace (PEM) to provide power to each wheel.

Its only emissions are water vapor.

Dispensing with batteries, the car, built on a lightweight carbon-titanium metal-composite chasis, weighs in at a trim 2,275 pounds.

With its eye-catching design, compared by some to a Bugatti Chiron, the XP-1 boasts prominent air blades on either side that not only contribute to aerodynamic stability at but also incorporate solar panels that change positions to track the sun. That's an appropriate feature for a company named after a mythological Greek god of light.

"Aerospace engineers have long understood the advantages of hydrogen as the most abundant, lightest element in the universe and now, with this vehicle, consumers will experience its extraordinary value proposition," said Angelo Kafantaris, Hyperion CEO. "This is only the beginning of what can be achieved with hydrogen as an energy storage medium. The potential of this fuel is limitless and will revolutionize the energy sector."

The XP-1's appearance is drawing plenty of attention from car and tech publications: Ars Technica called it "a bit like a Bugatti Chiron that had a transporter accident with an IndyCar." Loz Blain of New Atlas termed it "jaw-dropping," adding, "It's absolutely outrageous, one of the most aggressively out-there and futuristic designs we've seen, from the wild gold-ringed vortex air ports on the front, back and sides to the huge clear-panel roof and some truly nutty rims."

Slightly less impressed was Motor Trend, which, while terming the car a head-turner and "striking," also noted, "Beautiful, the XP-1 is not. [Its] exterior look is both busy and incohesive." Clean Technica observed: "The XP-1 sports looks like a starfighter straight out of a science fiction novel."

One obstacle the XP-1 will need to overcome is the lack of fueling stations. U.S. Energy Information Administration data show that there were just 60 hydrogen station pumps available to the public as of the first of this year. More are expected to open as demand grows. Zero-emissions vehicle design company Nikola is setting up its own station network to support its Nikola One trucks.

Hyperion has not released many of the specs of this prototype, but it reportedly is scheduling production of 300 XP-1s in 2022. The price is expected to be in the high six figures.

More information: arstechnica.com/cars/2020/08/m … o-educate-the-world/

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