IN MOST instances, the reasons for purchasing a high performance sports car are really very simple. Firstly, to make noise – and lots of it, and secondly, to occasionally experience speeds verging on barely legal. If you hand over the good part of £100,000+, you are entitled to add those to the ‘options’ list at the very least. That said, Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin are all in danger of becoming extinct. The principle concern being confronted by these luxury car marques like so many others is the harmful and inconsiderate impact their gas guzzling cars have on the environment.
22-year-old James Trim, has designed a new sports car that would retain the sound and outright performance customary with that of a petrol equivalent, but provide drivers the world over with equal amounts of guilt free motoring. Trim – who is in his final year of studying for a BA (Hons) in Automotive Design at Coventry University – has turned his attention to designing a zero emission Aston Martin sports car which is set to feature at this year’s degree show.
The two-seater ‘Volare’ adopts a high-power fuel cell stack, located between the front seats, a rear mounted battery pack, and a co-axial electric motor at the front. To aid the Volare’s weight distribution and ensure sporty driving dynamics, the two Hydrogen storage tanks have been positioned directly above the car’s rear axle, which will also improve grip levels as it is rear-wheel drive.
The Volare also uses a Kinetic Energy Recovery System similar to the one that is used on Formula One cars. When the driver applies pressure to the brake pedal, this energy is captured in a process called ‘regenerative braking’ which is then stored in a separate battery pack. This energy can be used at a later stage to supplement power from the fuel cell, and as the Volare is powered by hydrogen, its only emission is water.
Hydrogen is the fuel of the future, and the future isn’t as far away as you might think. Granted, it isn’t readily available at every forecourt across the country, but given time, and lots of investment, it is set to change the face of motoring forever, as Honda has shown with its ground-breaking FCX Clarity saloon. Hydrogen is one of the earth’s most abundant fuel sources, constituting roughly 75% of the universe’s elemental mass, and 22-year-old Trim has taken the opportunity to bring some much needed glamour to proceedings.
Trim said: “The Volare would be priced competitively and provide all the benefits of zero emission motoring, including reductions in car taxes. The vehicle aims to make the user more aware over the changing environment we live in and help them reduce their carbon footprint. We’ve seen a variety of sedan concepts that have been very futuristic in appearance,” added Trim, “but I wanted to design a hydrogen sports car that would look beautiful and could be driven today. Not in the future.”