Ligier and Bosch to build hydrogen-combustion racecar

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Ligier will convert its JS2 R race car to run on hydrogen using Bosch technology.

French manufacturer Ligier has partnered with Bosch Engineering to convert its JS2 R race car to run on hydrogen instead of fossil fuel.

The technical demonstrator, named the Ligier JS2 RH2, will be unveiled at the Le Mans 24 Hours race in June.

Ligier has adapted the JS2’s carbonfibre monocoque to fit three hydrogen tanks, while Bosch has modified its 3.7-litre Ford Cyclone V6 engine to run on the new fuel.

As a result of the modifications, the JS2 RH2 is expected to be slightly heavier than the base JS2, which weighs 1055kg.

Bosch Engineering president Johannes-Jörg Rüger said: “As an engineering service provider, we’re open to technology and see it as our task to explore the various technical options on the path to climate-neutral mobility in parallel and to devise the best solution in each case for all the requirements of our worldwide customers. In this context, hydrogen propulsion has great potential, especially in motorsports and high-performance sports cars.”

Ligier president Jacques Nicolet said “we must provide the innovations to meet tomorrow’s challenges” and that it was part of the firm’s plan to become a “preferred partner of automotive manufacturers for integrating new energies”.

Ligier isn’t the first manufacturer to evaluate the potential of hydrogen-combustion engines in motorsport. Toyota has so far been the main proponent of the propulsion method, testing it in Japan’s Super Taikyu race series with a modified Corolla and in last year’s WRC Rally Belgium with a modified GR Yaris.

As of February last year, Toyota was also working with Yamaha to develop a hydrogen-fuelled 5.0-litre V8, claimed to make 335kW and 540Nm – almost identical to the petrol V8 in the Lexus RC F Track Edition.

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