The most interesting BMW to go up the famous hill this year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed won’t be the new 5 Series G60. We’d reckon the M3 CS, 3.0 CSL, i7 M70, XM Label Red, and the new M2 will also pale in comparison to this – the H2R. Former M CEO Markus Flasch took to Instagram to share a clip of the unusual prototype undergoing testing ahead of the annual show held in West Sussex in the UK.
The wonderful sound you’re hearing comes from a time when the V12 engine was alive and kicking at BMW. In 2023 when emissions regulations are stricter than ever, you can’t buy a twelve-cylinder car with the famous roundel since the M760i is dead. Consequently, your only option is to step up to a Rolls-Royce. However, even the ultra-luxury marque will drop the powerhouse by the end of the decade when RR has pledged to go purely electric.
A quick look at the comments on the Instagram post shows BMW’s design chief Domagoj Dukec joking around the H2R “looks very slow.” Even at low speeds, the carbon fiber-bodied machine sounds amazing courtesy of its hydrogen-fueled V12 adapted from the 760i. In this specification, it has been tweaked to develop 232 horsepower, which was good enough for a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in a respectable six seconds. Top speed? A not-too-shabby 187.62 mph (302 km/h).
BMW developed the bonkers H2R in only 10 months, an experimental vehicle that went on to set no fewer than nine records for hydrogen vehicles in France at the Miramas Proving Grounds. Also known as the Hydrogen Record Car, it had a remarkably low drag coefficient of just 0.21 and was relatively lightweight given its size, tipping the scales at 1,560 kilograms (3,440 pounds) with a driver.
The car you’re seeing tackling those corners is imposingly large, stretching 5.4 meters (212.6 inches) long and 2.01 meters (79.1 inches) wide while being just 1.34 meters (52.8 inches) tall. It won’t be BMW’s only hydrogen-fueled vehicle to attend the 2023 Goodwood FoS as the iX5 will also be there to show the brand’s commitment to pursuing an alternative to battery-powered EVs.
Source: Markus Flasch / Instagram