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Hydrogen bomb. Image by RMC.

Hydrogen bomb
SEMA 2008 sees the debut of the Scorpion, a hydrogen supercar, but there's a twist in the tale.

 


News homepage -> Ronn Motor Company news

If somebody asked you to imagine what a TVR might look like in 2025, it probably wouldn't look too far away from this beast. If you were really imaginative, you might even take those thoughts a step further and guess at what it was powered by. Obviously it'd be something suitably utopian - easy on the planet and in abundant, cheap supply. Something like, say, water?

Well, imagine no more, because your lithe-looking car of the future is here. Sort of. Sadly, even in 2008 the thought of a new TVR is a step too far, but the beast pictured here has an equally unexotic appellation. Step aside Trevor... Ronn has arrived.

Ronn Motor Company has chosen SEMA 2008 to unleash this, the Scorpion. It's powered by hydrogen - but not in the heavier-than-a-bus-and-unfit-for-production way you might think. It's really easy these days for unknown car makers to get cheap publicity by making noises about saving the Earth, but this looks like it might actually be feasible.

RMC has mated a 3.5-litre V6 Honda engine to a hydrogen fuel injection system. The system breaks down water from an on-board 1.5 gallon tank into its base hydrogen and oxygen elements, then mixes the resulting hydrogen with petrol and injects it into the air intake manifold. The system, dubbed 'H2GO', significantly reduces the amount of fuel needed, but without sacrificing performance and without the need to fill up with hydrogen either. Obvious, really.

Two Scorpions are on the stands at SEMA as you read this - the 300bhp standard version, and the hotter HX that develops 450bhp courtesy of twin turbochargers. Both are expected to post 0-62mph times between 3.5 and 4.5 seconds and both will be capable of returning around 40mpg. Yikes.

But there's plenty that's traditional about the Scorpion. It's built on a lightweight chrome moly chassis wrapped in carbon bodywork for starters and the groundbreaking engine sends power to the rear wheels through a close-ratio six-speed 'box. There's a limited slip differential too, so it should handle properly, and the whole thing tips the scales at a mere 998kg.

It's American though, and it's at SEMA, so it's obviously sitting on a set of massive 20-inch chromed rims with painted-on rubber. Sadly, however, owing to its environmental and performance remit it probably doesn't have a boot full of amplifiers and bass bins. No doubt the DUB Magazine journo allegedly seen sniffing around the RMC stand will soon see to that.

There's no word on production for the Scorpion yet, but a starting price of $150,000 (around 95,000) is mooted, with a further $100k (62,000) added for the 450bhp version, though that seems awfully pricey for a pair of turbochargers. More significant, however, is the announcement that the H2GO system will go on sale in January to American customers for $999 dollars. It can be fitted to any car and will improve consumption by a claimed 20-25 percent.

Mark Nichol - 6 Nov 2008


2009 RMC Scorpion. Image by RMC.    








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