AVL Motorsport Department is Developing its First Own Racing Engine
AVL RACETECH Builds Hydrogen Combustion Engine for Motorsport
AVL RACETECH, the motorsport department of AVL, presents the prototype of an innovative H2 internal combustion engine.
The power unit is a compact, hydrogen-powered 2-liter turbo engine, with intelligent water injection that enables it to achieve a totally new performance level.
The prototype is the first racing engine that AVL RACETECH is developing and building in-house.
Graz, Austria, November 2022: Combining hydrogen and motorsport is familiar ground for AVL.
With the newly presented propulsion system powered by hydrogen alone, which makes it zero carbon, AVL RACETECH is starting a new chapter.
Unlike other H2 internal combustion engines, which are usually operated with a high level of excess air (lean-burn), meaning that they generate comparatively less performance, AVL RACETECH’s new racing engine with only slight lean-burn can generate a performance level of around 150 kW per liter. This puts the hydrogen-powered 2-liter turbo engine in the same range as the close-to-production racing classes of today.
To achieve this high specific performance, AVL RACETECH transferred the principle of water injection to the hydrogen engine. An injector shoots additional water into the intake air of the engine, which increases the boost pressure. In addition, the evaporating liquid has a strong cooling effect in the combustion chamber. Designing the necessary injectors and valves requires precise knowledge of the overall system behavior with all air, fuel, and exhaust gas flows – for which AVL uses its tried and tested simulation models and 3D flow calculations. This also ensures that the mechanical limits of the engine are not exceeded and the high safety standards in motorsport are met.
Project Manager Paul Kapus, Manager Development Spark Ignited Engines & Concept Cars: “Realizing performance values at motorsport level with a hydrogen internal combustion engine is an incredibly complex technical challenge. But our prototype proves it can be done. The basic technology of a gasoline engine and a hydrogen combustion engine is very similar – in contrast with fuel cell technology. Which is why our concept is also a very good fit for the economical approach of customer racing, since the adaptations required are very straightforward.”
Ellen Lohr, Director Motorsport AVL: “We are forerunners in many aspects of motorsport with AVL RACETECH, and have now made the decision to become leaders in the area of hydrogen combustion engines as well. Which is why we are building our own racing engine for the first time in the more than 20-year history of the AVL motorsport department. We expect to be able to present this hydrogen engine in spring 2023, and are confident that hydrogen combustion technology will play a significant role in achieving a zero carbon future in motorsport.”
Welcome to AVL Racetech
INNOVATE. ACCELERATE. LEAD.
Our heart beats for motorsport. We have enjoyed success in motor racing for more than 20 years, both in the
limelight and behind the scenes. We develop, test, simulate and fabricate for manufacturers, organizers, teams and drivers -
in 17 racing series around the world. Whether Formula 1, NASCAR or MotoGP: As a key supplier, we put winning teams on pole
position technologically. We transfer our passion for racing and the innovation we show in motorsport to the streets.
We leverage our know-how to develop solutions for the future of mobility. After all, that heartbeat unites us since centuries.
As well as strong companies and professional motorsport teams, we also work with promising and talented youngsters,
who we support through our ambassador program – from preparing them for races in our simulator to support them with our race engineers at the track.
Born in 1997, Ferdinand was the first participant on our young driver program. The Austrian amassed a multitude of victories and pole positions in the Euroformula Open, FIA Formula 3 and in the LMP2 class (Le Mans Prototype) at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, before making his DTM debut in 2019. After a second season in the renowned sprint series, he successfully focused on endurance racing in 2021: He was champion in the Asian Le Mans Series, won his class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and crowned his outstanding LMP2 season with the title of FIA World Champion.
Tatiana (born 1993) decided at just nine years of age that she wanted to be a professional racing driver. Having cut her teeth in karting, the Columbian has achieved her big goal in various racing series, including Super Formula Japan, FIA Formula 3, FIA Formula 2, the European Le Mans Series (ELMS), and the FIA World Endurance Championship. In 2022, she lines up in the NTT INDYCAR Series. Tatiana hopes her passion will inspire other young girls, in particular. She is passionate about making motorsport a more diverse and integrative environment on all levels.
Finn (born 2004) made the step up to automobile racing and attained his international racing license in 2020 as a multiple karting champion. The youngster took his first steps in GT4 racing, where he immediately impressed and claimed class victories. In 2021, Finn became the youngest driver ever to make his debut in an Le Mans Prototpye (LMP3) in the Michelin Le Mans Cup. His team, Phoenix Racing, is a championship-winning team, which has been a familiar name in motorsport for 22 years. In 2022, Finn lines up for top team United Autosports in the LMP3 class within the famous European Le Mans Series (ELMS).
Aliyyah and Yasmeen have one big goal: The twins want to take part in the famous Dakar Rally in 2023. Their love of motorsport was handed down to them when they were born in Dubai in 2004. Their father, two-time European truck racing champion Martin Koloc, is a true motorsport legend, whom they are attempting to emulate. And with success: At the age of just 16, Aliyyah became the youngest ever winner of a truck race. In 2022, the Dakar Sistaz line up in various racing series, including the FIA Middle East Cup for Cross Country Bajas, the EuroNascar Series, and selected GT3 and GT4 races.
Liam (born 2004) and his brother Jonas (born 2005) are among the best young Germans when it comes to off-road racing. Their motor racing career began in the German Autocross Championship, in which lightweight cross buggies go head to head in short sprints on gravel and mud tracks. In 2019, Liam was crowned German champion in the Juniorbuggy category, with Jonas runner-up. The Müller Brothers’ big dream is the World Rally Championship. On their way there, they are contesting selected rounds of the Mitropa Europacup and the German Rally Championship in 2022.
AVL and Virtuosi have been cooperating closely in the field of driving dynamics simulation since 2016. Since the start the 2022 FIA Formula 2 season, AVL RACETECH has been supporting the successful British race team as official technical partner. At the heart of the collaboration is the goal of using sophisticated simulation models to optimize the set-up of Virtuosi Racing’s Formula 2 cars. Based in Attleborough, Norfolk, the team can point to a long list of successes since it was founded – these include winning the Team title once and finishing runner-up three times in a row in Formula 2.
STARD, part of the Stohl Group GmbH, is a specialist in the research and development of advanced high-performance solutions for automobiles, motorsport, and more. The Austrian company has taken on a pioneering role worldwide – particularly when it comes to EV customer racing solutions and production-based, FIA-certified EV race cars. The focus of the collaboration between AVL RACETECH and STARD is the simulation, development and testing of high-performance propulsion system solutions, as well as whole cars for electric motorsport.
Launched by Ferdinand Habsburg and the Green Future Project in 2021, the “Drive Fast, Act Faster” program is helping the motorsport industry become more sustainable and make racing increasingly climate-neutral. As well as the general reduction of emissions, the program also offsets any remaining emissions by preserving biodiverse ecosystems. AVL RACETECH is supporting this goal by offsetting the complete CO2 footprint of its brand ambassadors for the entire racing season.
AVL and Ducati have been working closely together for several years. AVL RACETECH has been official technical partner of Ducati Corse since 2021. The motorsport department of the Italian manufacturer is responsible for developing the motorcycles that line up in MotoGP and Superbike competitions. Among other things, Ducati Corse uses the AVL CAMEO™ and AVL CONCERTO™ software solutions to analyze, visualize and optimize the performance of their race engines for MotoGP and other classes. And with great success: Ducati won the Constructor title in the MotoGP class in 2020 and 2021.
Founded in 2010 by Kuba and Wojtek Śmiechowski, the team entered endurance racing in 2016 with prototype cars and was able to claim early success. In 2019, Inter Europol Competition extended its involvement to cover the LMP2 (Le Mans Prototype 2) class, competing there for the first time in the Le Mans 24-hour race. The team debuted with the Oreca LMP2 #34 in the 2021 World Endurance Championship (WEC) – the first Polish team in the history of the WEC. They finished the season in an outstanding fifth place. Starting with the 2022 season, AVL RACETECH is the official team partner of Inter Europol Competition and supports the team, among other activities, in its preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The expansion of our partnership with the Green Future Project will do more than just compensate for the
complete CO2 footprint of the AVL RACETECH brand ambassadors over the course of the 2022 racing season. In addition to
permanently protecting the acquired rainforest areas to preserve biodiversity, our technologies also make an important
contribution to environmentally-friendly mobility. Our involvement in the program is documented in the dashboard below.