Bosch and Ligier to showcase H2 race car at 24 Hours of Le Mans | Autocar Professional

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To drive clean energy technologies and sustainability in motorsport, Bosch Engineering and Ligier Automotive have taken their hydrogen-powered demonstrator vehicle to the next level.

In recent months, intensive tests have been carried out to test the engine and the entire vehicle for robustness and endurance performance and to further optimize the drive concept. The development and engineering of hydrogen drives for motor sports enable us to bring particularly demanding technologies to the racetrack at an early stage, which can also have road reference. “This gives us an innovative edge in future hydrogen projects, both in motorsport and for high-performance sports cars,” says Dr. Johannes-Jörg Rüger, President Bosch Engineering GmbH.

Performance at race level
In recent months, Bosch Engineering and Ligier Automotive have further modified the vehicle. By systematic application, a high power of 443 kW, a torque of 650 Nm and an excellent transient response of the 3.0-l biturbo hydrogen engine could be achieved.

In addition, the robustness and long-term performance of the hydrogen systems under extreme operating conditions and at outside temperatures from 0deg to +35degC were ensured by extensive tests and simulations. As part of the high-speed tests, the vehicle repeatedly reached a top speed of over 280kph without irregularities and thus the potential for a top speed close to 300kph. Overall, the vehicle completed more than 5,000 test kilometres on the racetrack under high loads without any special abnormalities. This roughly corresponds to the race distance covered by the winning teams at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in recent years.

“The results show that our hydrogen concept could meet the extreme requirements of a long-distance race and provide an excellent development basis for future use in racing cars and high-performance sports cars,” says Rüger. The experience gained with the Ligier JS2 RH2, for example in the design of the high-pressure tanks and the complex hydrogen safety concept with active and passive measures, is incorporated into future customer projects of both companies.

The vehicle features a V6 hydrogen engine and a carbon monocoque that integrates three 700-bar type IV hydrogen cylinders.

Liquid hydrogen – first concept studies
Currently, the storage concept for hydrogen for mobile applications is mainly considered to be gaseous hydrogen, which is stored in the vehicle under high pressure up to 700 bar. Due to the higher storage density, liquid hydrogen could also offer an alternative storage option in the long term. Bosch Engineering and Ligier Automotive are currently expanding their development expertise with this technology. Both companies have already produced their initial concept studies to integrate liquid hydrogen systems in vehicles.

In the development of the Ligier JS2 RH2, Bosch Engineering was responsible for the overall vehicle design and significantly implemented the development of the engine and tank concept as well as a comprehensive multi-stage hydrogen safety system. Ligier Automotive was responsible for the global vehicle dynamic performance, the design of the monocoque, including all the chassis adaptation of its existing Ligier JS2 R and the complete car cooling system. They also optimized the mechanical components for use with hydrogen and led their overall integration into the new vehicle.

World premiere at the 24 Hours of Le Mans
After being publicly revealed last year during the centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Ligier JS2 RH2 was exhibited in the Hydrogen village dedicated to this new energy sector.

This June, the Ligier JS2 RH2 will be showcased on track this time during the world premiere demo lap reserved for hydrogen-powered racing cars on Saturday June 15, 2024, just a few hours before the start of the 92nd edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It will run along the H24, MissionH24’s hydrogen electric racing prototype and other manufacturers committed to the deployment of hydrogen into motorsport.
“We are very proud to be part of the first manufacturers to see their hydrogen-powered car run on the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans track,” comments Jacques Nicolet, President of Ligier Automotive. “We are fully focused on integrating new energies into the automotive industry and this demonstration lap shows that motorsport is an incredible research laboratory to develop and test new technologies.”

Pictures: Bosch Engineering GmbH

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