It's no surprise that in its 13th season, the IndyCar IRL series has designated the Honda FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel-cell sedan as the official car of the 2008 Indy Japan race. After all, the IRL has been one of the early adopters of renewable fuels in racing, utilizing 100 percent ethanol fuel since 2007.
This year's Indy Japan 300 will take place at the Twin Ring Motegi in Tochigi, Japan the weekend of April 17 - 19. There will be eighteen cars participating in this year's event, with the FCX Clarity serving as the pace car at the start of the race.; In addition, the FCX will later be on display in the Twin Ring Motegi's paddock.
As one of the first production fuel-cell cars on the market, the FCX Clarity exemplifies a significant progression in fuel-cell technology. But don't jump the gun just yet. Only a limited amount of cars are being leased in the U.S. to select households for approximately $600 per month. Honda has yet to disclose the cost of production, which is believed to certainly be more than the $21,600 the automaker is collecting from each car's lease.
Honda was able to package their FCX Clarity with a high-tech system into a typical sedan layout.; The FCX features a uniquely small fuel-cell stack positioned below the center console and lithium ion batteries tucked beneath the rear seat, as well as a single 5000 psi storage tank placed behind the rear passengers. Furthermore, the engine produces 134 horsepower, 189 lb-ft. of torque and pushes the FCX a top speed of 99 mph. Some say the best part of this is it produces only water vapor emissions.