French automaker Ligier Automotive has partnered with German engineering company Bosch to develop a hydrogen-powered sports car based on its Ligier JS2 R model.
The project, named JS2 RH2, aims to build a high-performance vehicle that offers driving dynamics equivalent to that of conventional gasoline-powered sports cars. The car will be powered by a converted V6 combustion engine and have three integrated hydrogen tanks, and will be equipped with the Ligier-Bosch LMDh hybrid system, which includes a motor generator unit, inverter, and vehicle control unit.
Bosch will oversee the overall vehicle concept, covering the engine, hydrogen tanks, and safety concept. Ligier, on the other hand, will be responsible for the vehicle architecture, H2 system integration, and cooling. The goal of the collaboration is to offer motorsports and high-performance vehicles a new development path with the integration of new energy and new technologies. The president of Bosch Engineering GmbH, Dr. Johannes-Jorg Ruger, said that hydrogen propulsion has great potential, particularly in motorsports and high-performance sports cars.
Ligier Automotive is the latest automaker to commit to hydrogen technology, following Toyota’s H2-powered Corolla for Japan’s Super Taikyu series and the Yaris H2 GR safety car at select stages of last year’s WRC Rally Ypres. The Automobile Club de l’Ouest has entered into a joint venture with GreenGT, with its MissionH24-based Norma LMP3 to compete against conventionally-powered LMP3 and GT3 machines in the Le Mans Cup, which supports the European Le Mans Series.
The launch of a zero-emissions class at the famous endurance race, Le Mans, is expected no earlier than 2026, while discussions continue on the appearance of the class. Ligier Automotive is an authorized supplier of LMP2 and LMP3 chassis and is currently working with Lamborghini on its upcoming LMDh prototype.
While hydrogen technology offers many advantages, there are also potential challenges, such as the availability of refueling infrastructure, high production costs, and the need for specialized maintenance. However, with increasing concerns about climate change, automakers are looking for ways to develop more sustainable solutions for the future. The collaboration between Ligier Automotive and Bosch represents a step in that direction, bringing together the expertise of two leading companies in their respective fields to develop a high-performance, hydrogen-powered sports car.