Alpine hypercar concept to run hydrogen engine at Spa

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Alpine is set to tackle Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps racetrack with its Alpenglow hypercar concept that was first shown during the 2022 Paris auto show.

The run is scheduled for May 11 and will coincide with the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, which serves as round three of the 2024 World Endurance Championship. Alpine said the Alpenglow’s design has evolved since the 2022 debut.

The Alpenglow was presented as a tease of the new design language pegged for Alpine’s future lineup, but also to showcase an internal-combustion engine designed to burn hydrogen. Unlike gasoline, hydrogen when burned doesn’t release any carbon emissions. There are harmful nitrogen oxides, though there are ways to minimize this, like using urea-based selective catalytic reduction found in diesel engines.

Because of the lack of carbon, some automakers as well as motorsports organizations are looking at hydrogen to keep the internal-combustion engine alive in a world of zero carbon emissions. Another solution aimed at saving the internal-combustion engine is using carbon-neutral e-fuels. These fuels are formed by combining hydrogen with CO2 captured from the air.

Alpine Alpenglow concept

Formula 1 plans to introduce e-fuels as soon as 2026. And the ACO, which is the organizer of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, wants to introduce a class for hydrogen-powered race cars by the same date.

The ACO last year presented the MissionH24 hydrogen-electric concept which featured an electric drive system primarily powered by a hydrogen fuel cell stack. The MissionH24 concept will also take to the Spa racetrack on May 11. Toyota also presented a race car powered by hydrogen engine last year, the GR H2 Racing concept.

Alpine’s sole vehicle at present is the gas-powered A110 sports car but all future models from the brand will be electric vehicles. The first of Alpine’s EVs will be the A290 hot hatch debuting later this year.

Beyond the A290, Alpine is known to be working on a compact crossover and an electric successor to the A110, due around 2025 and 2026, respectively. Alpine bosses have also hinted at two larger crossovers likely sitting in the same segments as Porsche’s Macan and Cayenne. These are expected to arrive beginning in 2027, which is when Alpine plans to enter the U.S. market.

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