Nissan Sets New Nurburgring Record... In an X-Trail Photo:
Tony O'Kane | Jul, 24 2008 | 5 Comments

Ah, the battle for Nurburgring supremacy. Not a week goes by without yet another report about the latest and greatest sports car hitting the 22km-long circuit in an attempt to set the fastest lap time.

Nissan is no stranger to the Nurburgring Nordschliefe, having used it to hone the suspension and powertrains of some of its more recent sports cars, so recently it headed out to the track to try and claim another Nurburgring record for the big N.

This time though, it wasn't about recording the fastest time or speed - it was about lapping the famous Nordschliefe without emitting a single puff of carbon dioxide.

Frank Eickholt, a member of Nissan's 24 Hours Nürburgring race team, was the man behind the tiller of the 1.3 million Euro X-Trail FCV prototype and managed to extract an eleven minute, 58 second lap from the zero-emission wagon.

While it pales in comparison to the Nissan GT-R's epic lap of 7:29, the X-Trail FCV did amazingly well for a vehicle with only 90kW and 280Nm of torque and Eickholt said there was the potential to do even better:

Although some of the uphill sections were challenging, the speed was still very impressive. If the course hadn't been so wet, I could have gotten more momentum out of the curves. Thirty to 40 seconds could have been shaved off for sure,

The X-Trail FCV derives its power from a tank of liquified hydrogen, the contents of which are then sent to a fuel cell stack and combined with oxygen, releasing electrical energy.

This powers an electric motor which in turn drives the front wheels, thereby allowing the mid-sized crossover to launch from apex to apex.

While it'll never put the likes of the Corvette ZR-1 on notice, the X-Trail FCV's performance is an excellent demonstration of the durability of fuel cell systems and a reassuring sign that even though petrol may no longer be involved in the equation, you can still have fun with an environmentally-friendly car.

Nissan X-Trail FCV

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