(from Honda press
release) Honda today revealed the Honda FC Sport design study
model, a hydrogen-powered, three-seat sports car concept, at the
2008 Los Angeles Auto Show.
The FC Sport emphasizes
the design flexibility and potential of Honda's V Flow fuel cell
technology - already deployed in the Honda FCX Clarity sedan - and
reconfigures it into a lightweight sports car design with an
ultra-low center of gravity, powerful electric motor performance and
zero-emissions. The design study concept is inspired by supercar
levels of performance through low weight and a high-performance,
electrically driven fuel cell powertrain.
"The Honda FC Sport
explores how to satisfy automotive performance enthusiasts in a
world beyond petroleum," said Dan Bonawitz, vice president of
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "People who love sports cars will
still have a reason to love in a hydrogen-powered future."
The high-output Honda
fuel cell powertrain and a sleek, aerodynamic body contribute to the
vehicle's performance potential. A modular approach to fuel cell
component packaging and the electric drivetrain contribute to the FC
Sport's low center of gravity with the majority of vehicle mass
distributed between the axles, creating the balanced weight
distribution sought after in sports cars.
The ideal placement of
the Honda V-Flow fuel cell stack and related components demonstrates
the benefits of a platform-specific, hydrogen-powered fuel cell
powertrain. The FC Sport is configured to accommodate a
custom-formed high-power fuel cell stack, located between the rear
seats, and a battery pack placed low in the middle of the vehicle.
The electric motor resides just forward of the rear axle. Two fuel
storage tanks, visible from above, are located above the rear axle.
The optimal placement of
fuel cell components for performance also allows for a relatively
large passenger cabin by conventional supercar standards with enough
space for three seating positions. The interior layout focuses
primarily on the driver with a racecar-like center driving position.
The enclosed canopy opens upward from the rear to allow for entry
and exit. Two rear passenger seats flank the driver's left and right
The sleek, low-profile
body is designed to convey a high-technology appearance with
sculpting that combines angular shapes in the front of the vehicle
that taper into geometric, hex forms in the rear. The rear hex forms
house cooling radiators for the fuel cell. Formula 1-style barge
boards behind the front wheels enhance high speed aerodynamics and
convey the vehicle's racing pedigree. The hydrogen storage tanks,
visible from the rear deck, showcase the FC Sports fuel cell
technology in much the same way that a "naked bike" motorcycle
showcases its engineering technology.
The glacier white body color conveys the FC Sport's clean
environmental aspirations while the dark wheels and deeply tinted
glass provide a symbolic contrast befitting of the vehicle's unique
combination of clean power and high performance. Green construction
techniques further contribute to a reduced carbon footprint. An
organic, bio-structure theme is carried through to the body
construction where exterior panels are intended to use plant-derived
The Advanced Design
Studio of Honda R&D Americas, in Pasadena, California, developed the
FC Sport design study with the primary objective of using existing
fuel cell technology as the basis for an ultimate Honda sports car.
Designer Jason Wilbur led the design efforts.
Honda R&D Americas, Inc.
began its operations in California in 1975 with local market
research activities and has steadily grown its capabilities over the
past 33 years to include all aspects of new vehicle design and
development. Recent development efforts include trend-setting
products such as the Honda Pilot, Ridgeline, Element, Civic Coupe
and Civic Si.
In 2008, the company
opened two new design centers in Southern California: the Acura
Design Studio (Torrance), for the research and design of new Acura
products; and the Advanced Design Studio (Pasadena), for the
exploration and development of advanced design themes for both Honda
The company operates 11
major R&D facilities in North America, including a full vehicle
development center in Raymond, Ohio, and three design studios in
Southern California. Honda R&D designers, engineers and support
personnel are engaged in the development of Honda and Acura
automobiles, powersports products, and power equipment for North
America and global markets. The company's main centers of operation
include the Los Angeles Center (Torrance, California), responsible
for market research, concept development and styling design; the
Ohio Center (Raymond, Ohio), responsible for complete product
development, testing, and support of North American supplier and
manufacturing operations; and a dynamic test facility in Cantil,