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Honda FC Sport concept unveiled at LA Auto Show

Wed, 19 Nov 2008

By Tim Pollard

Motor Shows

19 November 2008 19:45

Honda surprised everyone by unveiling this radical fuel-cell supercar concept at the LA Auto Show. The FC Sport is a three-seater sports car using the same tech as the FCX Clarity production fuel-cell – Honda calls it 'a glimpse at how supercars of the future may look'.

Why is this significant? Because fuel-cell tech frees up the design in several crucial ways. The fuel-cell stack can be stored anywhere, not just in the usual front, mid or rear-engined formats we're familiar with from a century of internal combustion, and there's no need for a bulky gearbox, either.

The FC Sport is a lightweight supercar vision and Honda claims it has zero emissions and a very low centre of gravity, again thanks to the new packaging possibilities of the fuel-cell technology. The majority of the vehicle mass is held between the axles.

Honda FC Sport a three-seater? Sounds like a McLaren F1!

Indeed. The FC Sport has a bigger cabin than most mid-engined supercars, since there's no bulky V12 doing its best to rob your elbow room. The V-Flow fuel-cell stack is located between the rear seats, above the low-slung battery pack. Two fuel storage tanks are visible from above,  nestling just above the rear axle. Remember, the technology at play here is already on the market with the leasing trial in the US and Japan, where customers can rent an FCX Clarity for just £290 a month.

This is a far-flung concept at this stage: there are F1-style barge boards and the cockpit canopy hinges upwards from the rear to allow three passengers to climb in and out; the driver sits centrally, like on the F1. Oh, and we love the glacial white paint job.

Show me more photos!

Study those photographs carefully: the FC Sport is a bizarre looking thing, designed to emphasise the different dimensions allowed by the powertain. And is it just us, or are there shades of the Toyota FT-HS, with its similar pearlescent white paint finish and edgy angles?

The FC Sport doesn't just emit nothing more harmful than water; its materials are designed to use organic, bio-material. It was designed by Honda's advanced design studio in Pasadena, California.

By Tim Pollard