The Hydrogen-Powered VAD.HO (2007)
The Italian designer Giugiaro is no stranger to hydrogen. It is not unknown at BMW, since there is a half years he had made the cut for the Nazca Bavarian manufacturer (superb sports cars V12). That is what we knew at the presentation of the car, and we thought because we knew that the concept that would reveal the result of a partnership with BMW. But while the auto was still under a cover, we saw how dire. An anomaly
The forms were those of a car very low, with a bodywork 3 volumes. But the car was on a turntable, and 3 volumes of the left profile, were not reflected on the right profile. Explanation very simple, the carrier is not the full width of the car, but only a half. The car is asymmetrical. A priori, this is not rational, but it still offers an aerodynamic advantage by reducing the frontal area. The VAD.HO is very wide, 1.98 m, but with a windscreen narrower than that of a Japanese kei-car, it is exceptionally aerodynamic.
The main interest is, however, highlight the engine. Provided by BMW, is larger than Munich know how: a 6-liter V12. And it's pretty remarkable to have been able to do fit on one side of the car, because this block is very large. It is therefore a bit of a selfish car, or hedonistic, someone who wants to enjoy alone, and fully enjoy driving his car (the slogan of BMW), bearing in his side, not a beautiful woman, but the engine that makes the car (the driver). And the beautiful woman is relegated to the rear. But in Geneva, there were a front as well..
A blonde next to the engine, and a brunette beside the door to fuel. Located above the box speeds, this is not a trap door in essence, since much better, the V12 runs on hydrogen. This car was also set on the BMW stand, it will participate in various demonstrations of its viability in the course of the year. While this concept VAD.HO has no other ambition than to be a demonstration of style. Finally, style and technique. On connait active steering on the BMW 5 series, the VAD.HO is better. The direction is by-wire, meaning that there were no mechanical element between the wheel and the wheels, but it is unusual, since there was no non-flying more. Two joysticks to take place. They are positioned at the ends of the armrests, which are when you leave the car. And when it settles, the armrests down, and hands come naturally grabbed the 2 joysticks. A note that they walked on the concept briefing in Geneva. We saw Miss handle, and the wheels turning! On board finally, the instrumentation is totally digital, with 3 screens. Two small screens later used to rétrovision, and they are essential since there are no mirrors, while the engine is information on the central screen.
A view of the nose, a 20-inch monitor this great data presented in a style aeronautics, and the rear passenger is not neglected, since it also has a beautiful screen where they can watch a movie. Side ambiance, this car is spacious. It is a surprise, but there is more room than a half of conventional passenger car. It was nonetheless a sense of closeness on board, despite these excellent figures. Or it should be used to fly a fighter plane, but this is not the case with this journalist.
The viability of hydrogen in a heat engine is still questionable for many people, but with prototypes of this caliber, beliefs grow. Especially with this architecture, it was possible to easily accommodate a large tank of hydrogen. But one thing that is still tiquer many people is the weakness of the engines converted to hydrogen. On this plan, the BMW V12, with 260 hp for 6 liters of displacement, does little enthusiasm. But we must never forget to mention that this engine is bivalent.
Or bi-fuel, as they say more often. That is to say, it works equally well with hydrogen as fuel, power is the same with one or the other. However, BMW does not speak too much, but they also (and long) engines that can no longer run on gasoline, as they are optimized for the combustion of hydrogen. These engines are much more revealing of the real power of hydrogen. Because if one has fun to compare the power of the V12 bivalent of 6 litres, with a 4-cylinder 2-litre 100% optimized for hydrogen, it entertains us even more to see that the little engine is more powerful that the wholesale level.