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Saleen Is Building a Twin-Turbo Hydrogen Supercar Prototype

Remember Saleen? The boutique American automaker produced its last original vehicle, the S7 supercar, in 2009. It has since been modifying muscle cars and trying to launch a new sports car in China called the Saleen 1. Now, though, the company claims to have plans for a prototype sports car powered by hydrogen combustion. Saleen has even inked a deal with French engine manufacturer Solution F to get the ball rolling.

Details on this new vehicle are slim, but Saleen says it will be powered by one of Solution F’s hydrogen-burning twin-turbocharged V-6 engines. Once it’s rolling, it will be exhibited at events around the United States. There’s no mention of whether this new car is related to the current Saleen 1.

Solution F Foenix H2 Hydrogen Race Car

“We believe the long-term solution for transportation will be multi-faceted where hydrogen and synthetic fuels are the future in environmentally friendly engines,” Steve Saleen says in the press release, “while still offering the ultimate in performance, and traditional fueling convenience.”

Solution F’s website describes the company as a low-volume specialist manufacturer of a variety of drivetrain technologies. It claims to have “unique expertise in the manufacturing, assembly, development, and operation of prototypes and small series of vehicles.” Its portfolio, stretching back nearly 40 years, includes work in motorsport, aerospace, sustainable transportation, and more.

The most relevant portion of this resume to Saleen appears to be its Foenix H2 hydrogen race car. The vehicle, set to hit the track this weekend at Le Mans (not for the 24-hour race) is powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter hydrogen V-8 producing 612 horsepower. The engine, looking outwardly like some flavor of small-block Chevy, has been modified to include direct hydrogen injection. The company claims it emits only water vapor and a small amount of “nitrogen oxides.”

Saleen says its own hydrogen sports car will be demonstrated near the end of 2024, so work is likely already underway on the prototype. We’ll have to wait and see if it ever sees the light of day.

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