The project started at the beginning of 2021 and it is already the second prototype that has just been unveiled. Aesthetically, this Apricale resembles a classic thermal car. The pencil stroke is not ugly, but not new either. We find McLaren at the front for example and the roofline is directly borrowed from Koenigsegg. This drawing is signed Pininfarina who will also produce the car at the end of 2023.
Viritech’s “Tri-Volt” technology relies on a fuel cell powerful enough to provide traction (it is not a “range extender”). A high-power battery serves as a buffer. The car can evolve in three modes:
- At low speed, the battery powers the two electric motors
- At normal and more or less stabilized speed, the FC supplies the motors directly
- Under heavy load, the fuel cell and battery combine to power the motors
The available power is 800 kW. The battery is barely smaller than that of the Renault Twizy: 6 kWh. This allows lightness but limits operation without the fuel cell. The car is four-wheel drive with a front and rear motor, 400 kW each. The torque is 1000 Nm. The 4 hydrogen tanks (under 700 bars) are on either side of the car. According to Viritech, their technology makes it possible to reduce the weight of these tanks while making them very resistant. The tanks would use graphene as a base material and are designed to be structural elements of the chassis. The idea is again to gain weight.
The tanks can carry 5.4 kg of H2 under 700 bars. This represents 178.2 kWh gross, half of which should be recovered for traction, i.e. around 90 kWh. It’s basically the equivalent of today’s battery electric vehicles. But, there is a big but: with its technical solutions, Viritech announces an Apricale of only 1000 kg! Against 1800 to 2000 kg at least for a 90 kWh VEB.
4.55 m long, 1.90 m wide, and barely 1.15 m high. It is a real supercar in its design and dimensions. The price will also be that of a supercar since the 25 units planned will start at 1.5 million euros! Ambitious when you see that for the moment it is still a model that is on display. But, Viritech develops its technology using mules like a Porsche 718 Cayman.
So does it really compete with the Hopium Machina this Apricale? No. The Hopium will “only” offer half power. But, it should be displayed at 10 times less (from €120,000). However, they are both “sporty” hydrogen cars.
The Viritech Apricale is a hydrogen fuel cell supercar. The second prototype has just been unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and should hit the road at the end of 2023, produced by Pininfarina.