The inexorable rise in sales of electric cars, propelled by increasingly strict emission standards and the end of petrol and diesel by 2035 proposed by the European Commission, seems to mark the imminent end of combustion engines. .
However, there’s still some hope for those who don’t want to give up the pistons, connecting rods, cylinders and sound of a big fat V8. And among these reasons for hope, there is the new engine presented and developed by Yamaha for Toyota. It’s a hydrogen-powered thermal block: a 450-hp 5.0-litre V8.
Toyota has turned to a long-time partner with Yamaha to test the potential of these hydrogen-powered engines, and thus have the possibility of using a fuel that promises to be “carbon neutral”.
The announcement of this new hydrogen-powered V8 betrays the enthusiasm that animates those responsible for the project launched five years ago, starting with Takeshi Yamada, director of the automotive development department at Yamaha’s technical research center: “I’m very happy that the project has been implemented. I started noticing that the hydrogen-powered engines were a lot of fun.”
“Hydrogen engines are by their very nature exciting and easy to use, without the need for electronic systems. Everyone who tried the prototype was rather perplexed at first, but eventually came out of the car with a big smile. Watching the reactions, I began to believe that hydrogen engines did indeed have enormous potential. They weren’t just replacing gasoline.”
The hydrogen engine development program which, to be perfectly clear, has nothing to do with fuel cells, is part of a larger agreement announced in November 2021 between five companies: Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Subaru Corporation, Toyota Motor Corporation, Mazda Motor Corporation and Yamaha Motor.
Yoshihiro Hidaka, the president of Yamaha Motor touches on it a few words: “Hydrogen powertrains have the potential to be carbon neutral, while honoring our passion for the combustion engine. It is by collaborating with companies of different cultures and skills and increasing the number of our partners that we expect to be present in the world of tomorrow.”
The engine is based on the 5.0 liter V8 of the Lexus RC F. However, there have been some modifications, in particular at the level of the injectors, the cylinder head or the intake manifold. This block develops 450 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and a maximum torque of 540 Nm at 3,600 rpm.
For comparison, the same unleaded fuel engine develops 464 horsepower at 7,100 rpm and 520 Nm from 4,800 to 5,600 rpm. The power is therefore almost unchanged and the torque has increased slightly.