Porsche Test Hydrogen On Nurburgring

Thu 18th Aug 2022

German sportscar brand Porsche have long been keen to develop alternative engine platforms to electric battery and have now revealed the details of a hydrogen trial on the Nurburgring.

Currently, a variety of powertrain solutions, including hybrid systems, electric drives, and efficient combustion engines, are all being developed simultaneously for future vehicles. Porsche Engineering, in a study devoted to the topic, investigated whether hydrogen could serve as an alternative to conventional fuels or synthetic fuels (e-fuels) in combustion engines.

Currently, hydrogen engines are being developed worldwide, but they are mostly being used for commercial vehicles with a relatively low specific output of 50 kW per litre.

This low output needs improvement says Porsche. “For the passenger car sector, this is insufficient. We have therefore developed a hydrogen combustion engine that aims to match the power and torque of current high-performance gasoline engines as a concept study. At the same time, we also had the objective of achieving low fuel consumption and keeping emissions at the same level as ambient air, says Vincenzo Bevilacqua, Senior Expert Engine Simulation at Porsche Engineering. “The starting point for our study was an existing 4.4-liter eight-cylinder gasoline engine—or rather, its digital data set, since we conducted the entire study virtually using engine performance simulations.”


According to Porsche Engineering, the hydrogen engine is capable of putting out 440 kW of power. In order to test the powertrain in a luxury-vehicle reference model with a relatively high total weight of 2,650 kg on the Nürburgring Nordschleife—entirely virtually—the drive was completed using a digital twin. Driving dynamics were shown to be high with a lap time of 8 minutes and 20 seconds.