For years, we have heard promises about delivery of a hydrogen engine and recently carmakers Toyota and Yamaha announced that they have joined forces and developed a hydrogen-fueled 5.0-liter V8 engine. Could this be the breakthrough we have all been waiting for?
The engine is not entirely new, it is based on a current model used by Lexus with their RC-F sports coupé. However, many modifications were made to it to make it hydrogen compatible, which included changes to the injectors, heads, intake manifold, as well as other parts. It delivers 449bhp at 6800rpm and 398lb-ft at 3600rpm, a bit less than the RC-F sports coupé gasoline V8, but for a newly developed experimental engine, they are impressive.
According to Takeshi Yamada, an engineer who works in Yamaha’s hydrogen engine development team, the engine is bound to make anyone who drives it happy. He went on to say “hydrogen engines have an innately friendly feel that makes them easy to use even without resorting to electronic driving aids. Everyone who came to test drive the prototype car would start off somewhat skeptical but emerged from the car with a big smile on their face at the end”.
Those who might doubt these two firms working together should note that they have had fruitful collaborations before. For instance, the Lexus LFA hypercar’s 552bhp 4.8-liter V10, was a proven success.
Yamaha president Yoshihiro Hidaka said that: “Hydrogen engines house the potential to be carbon neutral while keeping our passion for the internal combustion engine alive at the same time.”