20 November 2008

Three cell

Honda's McLaren F1-style hydrogen coupe hits LA show

Honda FC Sport

There’s a surprise on the Honda show stand at the Los Angeles Auto Show in the shape of this: the FC Sport Design Study.

That’s ‘FC’ as in fuel cell: this is, essentially, a coupe version of the Honda’s hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity production car. Which means it uses a fuel cell stack to convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity, with water the only by-product.

Honda reckons the fuel cell drivetrain should provide ‘supercar levels of performance’ along with proper supercar handling: the battery pack, fuel stack and hydrogen tanks are all fitted around the rear axle, effectively making this a mid-engined supercar for three.

Three? Yep, the FC Sports Design Study has a McLaren F1-style seating plan, with a central driver’s seat flanked by a pair of passengers sitting slightly behind. Other neat touches include a rear-hinged canopy and F1-style ‘barge boards’ behind the front wheels to improve aero flow.

As for the looks – well, make up your own mind. We can’t help thinking it’d make a nice family car… for a family of Imperial Stormtroopers.

Unlike the FCX Clarity, we won’t see the FC Sport enter production any time soon. Instead, think of it as an indication that there’s plenty more than can be done with Honda’s hydrogen technology.

How about a Ariel Atom-style fuel cell lightweight, guys?

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