Pioneering cleantech engineers, Viritech, partner with the fabled design studio to unify form and function for the Apricale
Pioneering cleantech engineers, Viritech today confirmed that the legendary design house, Pininfarina, is styling and building the Apricale, the ultimate road-going hydrogen hypercar.
Viritech’s ambition is to be world's leading developer of hydrogen powertrain solutions for the automotive, aerospace, marine, and distributed power industries. It is developing advanced technologies including energy management systems and structural pressure vessels to enable clean, abundant hydrogen to be at the centre of sustainable transportation.
The Apricale is the first manifestation of this ambition; the exceptional demands of hypercar performance have required Viritech to entirely re-imagine existing FCEV drivetrain technology by using its proprietary Tri-Volt™ intelligent energy management systems (EMS) to operate a multi-hundred kW fuel cell system and high-density, small battery pack.
This revolutionary hydrogen powertrain architecture not only delivers hypercar performance by virtue of an EMS that can switch between fuel cell and battery in less than 100 milliseconds, but it also allows highly efficient packaging to deliver a sub-1,000kg kerb weight.
Importantly, while this architecture perfectly suits the performance requirements of a hypercar, the patent pending technology easily scales to applications as diverse as hydrogen-powered heavy goods vehicles, aircraft and marine vessels. In each case, the unique architecture creates a hydrogen powertrain with no weight penalty compared to an internal combustion engine powertrain, enabling the use of zero emissions propulsion in sectors where battery packs are simply too heavy.
With its core focus on hydrogen powertrain technologies and its Graph-Pro™ structural hydrogen storage vessels, Viritech sought an expert partner to build the Apricale which shared its ambition to re-imagine future transportation. In Pininfarina, Viritech has secured the capabilities of one of the world’s most fêted design studios that counts among its lineage over 1.200 vehicle designs from prestigious brands such as Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Lancia. Pininfarina has always paid a great attention to environmental sustainability and it has looked carefully at hydrogen in the last 15 years by investing in studies and prototypes in collaboration with start-ups that are fully committed to new, clean technologies.
Alongside the styling of the Apricale, Pininfarina is also discussing with Viritech the production of the car in its atelier in Cambiano, Torino, to produce the limited series of the ultimate hydrogen road-going hypercar leveraging the coachbuilder's unique expertise in hand-building exclusive cars developed over the past 92 years.
The results of Viritech’s engineering innovation and Pininfarina’s styling and craftsmanship will break cover at the Goodwood Festival of Speed with an Apricale showcar being debuted ahead of the first production versions being released in late 2023.
Timothy Lyons, Viritech’s Founder said, “Viritech is focused on becoming the world's leading developer of hydrogen powertrain solutions and the Apricale, with its requirement to optimise weight, space and performance, provided us the perfect development platform for our core powertrain technologies, which have also been designed for broad application in the coming age of sustainable transportation.
So, given our core focus on hydrogen powertrains, partnering with Pininfarina to deliver the Apricale made great sense for us, and intriguingly raises the possibility of collaborating together on a subsequent production run of hydrogen supercars. In Pininfarina we have a partner with a unique heritage in the history of automotive design, able to bring the unique experience and the same level of passion to the project. The result is a hypercar which is set to become the Icon for the new age of transportation.”
Silvio Angori, CEO of Pininfarina, said, “We are excited to work with Viritech on the exclusive road-legal hydrogen hypercar. Pininfarina has always been ahead of its time in terms of clean mobility. We bring to this new venture our ability to unify form and function combining our design expertise to environmental sustainability. The Apricale also continues Pininfarina’s unparalleled legacy of designing special cars, namely vehicles produced in limited series for lovers of unique cars. It is a synthesis of technology, sustainability, beauty, and, above all, performance."