Early next year, a team from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Australia, and the Fachhochschule Ingolstadt University of Applied Sciences in Germany will attempt to establish a new Guinness World Record speed mark for hydrogen-powered single-seat vehicles in a car they've dubbed Formula H. Unveiled at the first International Conference of Sustainable Automotive Technologies currently being held in Melbourne, Formula H is fitted with a conventional two-cylinder Rotax 800cc motorcycle engine that's been specially modified by the team at FIU to run on gaseous hydrogen and develop about 84 horsepower and 63 lb-ft of torque. The goal is to have it send Formula H to or beyond 170 kph (about 106 mph) at the official trials, which will be held in Germany.
Although designing and constructing the rest of the Formula H package represents the most ambitious undertaking to date for any team from RMIT, the school's stunning track record demonstrates that it's fully capable of meeting this latest challenge. During the past eight years, student-operated RMIT Racing has distinguished itself in numerous other motorsport design competitions, including taking the outright championship at the 2006 U.S. Formula SAE competition and claiming the International F/SAE title in 2007. Beyond constructing another formidable Formula SAE challenger for the 2008 runoffs that take place in America later this month, RMIT Racing also is preparing an electric-powered variant of its F/SAE entry in conjunction with a student group from nearby La Trobe University.