Texas-based Ronn Motor Company rolled out its hydrogen hybrid supercar Tuesday at the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association Show (SEMA) in Las Vegas. The Scorpion is a wildly sculpted exotic vehicle that can hit 200 miles per hour, while promising 40 miles per gallon on the highway.
“We have a system that produces hydrogen as we drive down the road.”
The Scorpion is powered by a hydrogen-assisted Acura 3.5-liter V-6 engine with a close ratio six-speed transmission. This engine produces 289 horsepower in stock form, and can be upgraded to 450 horses with an optional twin turbo. But unlike most hydrogen systems in development, this one does not utilize fuel cells—and the Scorpion does not have electric motors. Instead, the car’s newly developed technology burns a blend of hydrogen and gasoline. Adding hydrogen to the internal combustion engine reportedly improves fuel efficiency by as much as 40 percent.
The on-board hydrogen system developed by Hydrorunner uses dual computer processors to produce hydrogen from water contained in a small tank. Essentially, it is a process similar to electrolysis, in which water is charged with electricity in order to release hydrogen molecules. Hydrogen is then injected into the powertrain as needed. This eliminates the need for high-pressure storage tanks, or for that matter, hydrogen-fueling stations.
“Our system uses water from your garden hose to create hydrogen on demand,” said company COO Damon Kuhn. “The infrastructure to support this technology is here right now, not 10 years from now.”
The potential for this technology to reach the mass market is limited—because of cost. The price of the Scorpion will be in the range of $150,00 to $250,000. The company is taking pre-orders now. But act fast—production numbers for the Scorpion will be limited to approximately 200 per year.