Racing Champion Creates Dream Track Car Like No Other
F1 racing legend and Indy 500 champion, Emerson Fittipaldi, unveiled his dream track car, the much-anticipated Fittipaldi EF7 Vision Gran Turismo by Pininfarina, at the Geneva Motor Show.
The ultra-light, all carbon fiber supercar fuses the vision of F1 and Indy Car racing champion Fittipaldi, iconic Italian design company Pininfarina and race-bred German engineering firm HWA AG, and fulfills Fittipaldi’s dream to produce a car with fierce track-racing capabilities, for drivers of all skill levels.
“I have tried for years to explain to others what it truly feels like to be behind the steering wheel of a championship racecar. There is adrenaline and elation all rolled into an awe-inspiring inner fulfillment that leaves you craving for more. This is what our dream team created in the EF7 Vision Gran Turismo by Pininfarina,” said Fittipaldi of the first car to be released under the Fittipaldi Motors marque.
Revealing a commandingly sleek design underscored by an extraordinary power-to-weight ratio, the supercar’s design theme – that of a shark, inspired by Emerson – finds astounding aerodynamic expression in the vehicle’s flowing, aggressive lines; assertive yet incredibly beautiful and pure; and a balance between emotion and efficiency typical of Pininfarina’s design work.
“The EF7 is an exciting car that embodies Pininfarina’s DNA in terms of style and innovation, Emerson’s championship race experience and HWA AG’s flawless engineering skills. Our collective team was able to turn a dream into a driving machine,” enthused Pininfarina Chairman Paolo Pininfarina.
The EF7’s exceptional yet forgiving handling and performance, will be achieved through a powerful V8 naturally aspirated engine, integrated gearbox, suspension and braking system developed by HWA AG, and an with ultra-lightweight, all carbon fiber chassis construction with an exceptionally low center of gravity.
Added Hans Werner Aufrecht, Founder and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of HWA AG: “In realizing the dream of a champion, the result is a car that combines racing technology and breathtaking design with drivability and the highest safety requirements.”
The carbon fiber monocoque is a specially designed safety capsule for both driver and passenger, enabling drivers to feel comfortable in the car, even while at its limits.
“I have had the privilege to work with many great teams in my life on and off the track, but this project took me to new heights, co-creating with the masters of legendary car design and race-winning engineering,” said Fittipaldi, who began his journey to create a supercar three years ago. “Combined they have over 140 years delivering on the elite cars of the world and this is now the same brilliance in the Fittipaldi EF7 Vision Gran Turismo by Pininfarina.”
Its name is H2 Speed and it is Pininfarina’s innovative vision of a high performance track car based on revolutionary hydrogen fuel cell technology already subjected to severe track testing by GreenGT, a Franco-Swiss company which has been designing, developing and producing clean, sustainable propulsion systems since 2008.
H2 Speed will appeal to passionate people who love speed, performance and innovation and, at the same time, are attracted by the exclusivity typical of a Pininfarina-designed vehicle produced in a limited series. Halfway between a racing prototype and a production supercar, the H2 Speed is the world’s first hydrogen, high performance car. It is not by coincidence that its name joins together H2, the formula for gaseous hydrogen, and the English word Speed, as if to say that it is the force and energy of Nature that generate the vehicle’s high performance, fostering the excitement that is typical of passion and sport.
Seduced by GreenGT technology, Pininfarina has applied its mastery to express a style that communicates uncompromising beauty and a unique allure, combined with extreme performance. A pure beautiful form, free of any stylistic affectation.
Sculpted by efficiency-boosting aerodynamics, the H2 Speed weds blistering performance to refined lines and shapes integrated in a form of strong emotional impact which embraces the driver and represents the best possible expression of Pininfarina DNA: purity, elegance, innovation expressed through the passion that has always pervaded the world of high performance cars.
Research and innovation: Pininfarina’s roots
Global styling benchmark for 86 years, Pininfarina has always invested in research and development programmes to propose concepts and innovative solutions to the new challenges that continue to arise in the car industry. One of the main areas was that related to performance and to aerodynamic and technological innovation for racing, as seen in the Lancia Aprilia Aerodinamica of 1937, the Fiat Abarth Monoposto Pininfarina Record of 1960, the Dino 206 Competizione of 1967, the Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo Gruppo 5 of 1978. In this context, however, the most striking example was the Sigma Grand Prix of 1969, which reinterpreted and renewed the Formula 1 concept by introducing major safety content geared to drastically reducing the risk component inherent in car racing.
Starting from these examples, in a scenario of great attention to the most sensitive aspects of sustainability and emissions reduction, Pininfarina today proposes a new interpretation of its passion for motor car performance in an innovative and totally ecological key. For this new styling and research exercise, it has used the hydrogen fuel cell technology developed by its partner GreenGT.
The power of a green engine
The technology presented by GreenGT is the substantial outcome of a two-year development and testing program that has embodied the form of the H2 Speed concept. GreenGT proposes ‘Full Hydrogen Power’ technology, a powerful electric-hydrogen fuel cell drive chain. The result is a zero emissions vehicle able to reach 300 km/h by releasing just water vapor into the atmosphere. With a maximum power of 503 horsepower, the engine accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds. Also notable is the rapid refueling, unknown to traditional electric cars: a full tank of hydrogen can be done in only 3 minutes.
H2 Speed eliminates both air and noise pollution. The compressor gives the vehicle’s engine a very special tone, completely different to that of conventional electric cars. So even the noise made by the car is close to the emotion of silence, sounds and hisses that evokes science fiction.
External styling themes
Form and function merge together in the H2 Speed concept to create an external design that highlights the vehicle’s sportiness and performance in every detail. Lines and volumes outline a sculpture that is as powerful as it is intriguing. Although it is based on the traditional styling cues of sports cars (low, aggressive proportions, strong design and an emotional synergy between car and driver), the H2 Speed presents the designer with a two-fold challenge: to design a car on a carbon frame and on the mechanical layout of a high performance car of extreme proportions (length 4700, height 1087, width 2000, wheelbase 2900) and at the same time clothe the GreenGT Full Power Hydrogen system, an innovative technology that offers, in terms of vehicle architecture, the necessary originality to generate a unique, outstanding product.
The H2 Speed was born for high performance. Under the banner of essentiality and rationality, all parts of the layout have been designed for the correct distribution of weights to be able to transfer the power and enormous torque of the Full Power Hydrogen system to the ground.
The sinuously three-dimensional shape springs naturally from an original styling process where the most important constraint – the two large hydrogen tanks at the side – becomes an opportunity. To avoid weighing down the side of the vehicle, the hydrogen cylinders are faired instead of being incorporated into the body volume but they remain visible through a window in the rear part of the fairing where the fuel cap is easy to access.
Arising from the marked sidecut, the three-dimensionality can be seen clearly in the plan lines of the vehicle. The geometric composition of the design from above is particularly intriguing: the car seems to consist of two triangular bodies that intersect to generate the front and rear mudguards. And it is the compenetration of this two volumes that defines the features of the plan, side and perspective views, playing seemingly on a symmetrical drawing. The crests of the mudguards do not follow wing volume in a traditional way but enter and exit the body, giving sensuality and originality to the handling of the surfaces.
Modeling the side panel makes it possible to hollow out a generous air passage from front to side. The result is an efficient aerodynamic flow and, at the same time, the creation of three-dimensional hollowed out volumes that leave part of the carbon frame visible as well as mechanical parts like the suspension arms. At the entrance to these channels, the two big front radiators located laterally, cool the entire fuel cell block.
At the front, between the two radiators, a center duct permits the flow of fresh air which, channelled along the sides of the cabin, cools the engine compartment. The muzzle presents two upside-down L-shaped wings which direct the aerodynamic flows and also act as supports for the lighting system: the apparently suspended led strips give the front an attractively original, dynamic expression.