It was unveiled at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show, and it’s one lean, green supercar. The Pininfarina H2 Speed has moved from concept to production with a new, updated version with only 12 to be built. The cars are created for gentlemen who are environmentally minded, and who love performance and speed when driving. The price, which is yet to be determined, was previously thought to be in the range of $2.5 million. This ensures exclusivity; as does the limited production number.
The H2 Speed concept first debuted at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. The race car was presented as the cleanest ever. Though Pininfarina provided the style, GreenGT engineered the two zero-emission electric motors powered by two hydrogen fuel cells. The rear-wheel-drive race car had 503 horsepower at 13,000 rpm which could propel the car to 62 mph in just 3.4 seconds, with a top speed of 186 mph. Because the power was supplied to the rear wheels directly, the car did not need a traditional transmission and had no clutch or gears. The body lines-decidedly sleek-allowed for the easy top speed. The styling took its inspiration from the 1969 Ferrari Sigma Grand Prix F1 show car which Pininfarina presented that year.
The decision to use hydrogen as fuel rather than electricity was due to its relatively rapid time for refueling. The H2 Speed had a refuel time of just three minutes, while an electric car could take up to thirty minutes. The 2016 Geneva Motor Show emphasized many electric cars, but Pininfarina chose to present the first hydrogen-fueled car with an orientation toward performance.
With the hope that motorsports could evolve toward a future without race car emissions, the H2 Speed is a new look at what may become reality rather than fantasy. Two years after it was first introduced. Pininfarina has presented its updated design. The company is expected to produce models only for track, built using the LMP2 race car chassis and a GreenGT powertrain. Emissions are expected to be comprised of only air and water vapor.
As early as 2013, Dunlop Motorsport began work with engineers from GreenGT to develop tires which would support the H2 Speed’s 2,950 pound-feet of torque. The car also had extra weight, so the tires required an increase in longitudinal stiffness and higher load capacity. At the time it was speculated that the tire engineers might be able to use a softer compound without worrying about the life of the tires. The two teams of engineers created tires for the prototype GreenGT H2 hydrogen fuel cell powered electric motor driven vehicle which ran in the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans, but the knowledge they gained with the prototype was history-making and forward looking.
Pininfarina, the legendary Italian design house, was originally founded in 1930. Battista “Pinin” Farina was the automobile designer who began it all. His nickname means “the smallest brother”in the Piedmontese language. He was the tenth child to be born of eleven, and his interest in designing cars began when he was just twelve years old. His designs eventually became some of the most famous in the world, with postwar sports cars being those known best. In December 2015, Pininfarina was acquired by the Mahindra Group. The automotive design firm headquartered in Cambiano, Italy still designs vehicles for firms around the world.
GreenGT, the independent Swiss company, was founded in 2008 by Jean-François Weber. The company designs electric-hydrogen propulsion systems which focus on clean performance with high levels of durability and performance. Weber is an engineer who has specialized in race cars and racing for years. He participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well. Christophe Schwartz joined the company immediately. His specialization includes work with fuel cells. Stanislas de Sadeleer, noted for his enthusiasm for cars, and investor Christophe Ricard are major partners in the venture. GreenGT has a research and development laboratory based in Switzerland and a subsidiary named GreenGT Technologies located in the Signes business area of France.
Pininfarina and GreenGT have partnered to create the H2 Speed. When Pininfarina unveiled the updated design at the 2018 Geneva Auto Show, what was once a prototype concept became a confirmed production announcement. Though it has not been announced when the first vehicle will be ready for purchase, excitement over the new H2 Speed has grown from merely casual to highly focused. The H2 Speed is ushering in a new era of environmentally friendly racing and that can only be positive for motorsports fans around the world.