Future Models - Riversimple 2018 Rasa
Riversimple Rasa revealed
H2 no: This teaser image released earlier in the week had GoAuto excited that Riversimple was about to reveal a savage high-performance hydrogen hyper car, but it didn't.
Rasa turns out not to be monster Riversimple hydrogen supercar
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17 February 2016
A SINGLE teaser image released earlier this week by Welsh start-up green
car-maker Riversimple, suggested the company was about to launch a pumped-up
low-slung hydrogen supercar with potent performance and the looks to boot, but
the Rasa turned out to be quite the opposite.
Instead of a vicious mid-engined monster with bitumen-busting acceleration, the
Rasa is a bantamweight prototype town car with tyres that appear to be from the
Tour De France and 8.5kW of power. Accelerating from zero to 100km/h is
impossible with a top speed of 97km/h.
It is now clear that if you take a close-up shot of the Rasa's rear haunch, its
ventilated C-pillar, angular panels and piercing tail-lights can give the
appearance of a fun-focused sportscar.
Styling was handled by Australian-born former Alfa Romeo design director Chris
Reitz, who was previously involved the Giulietta and Fiat 500 projects, and
Nissan concept projects including the Qashqai, CrossBow and Micra C+C so it is
unclear what happened with the Riversimple.
The Rasa does have a few supercar features however, with an all-wheel-drive
transmission, two seats and head-turning butterfly-opening doors.
Look past the little car's skinny facade and the British-built eco-car features
some accomplished engineering including a hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain,
ultralight carbon-fibre construction and just 18 moving components in its
Weighing in at just 580kg the Rasa is seriously light allowing it to go further
on less fuel. A full 1.5kg tank of hydrogen can propel the little green car
about 480km, and regenerative braking from all four hub motors can recover as
much as 50 per cent of its kinetic energy.
Metropolitan environments are where the Rasa is at home with only water vapour
emitted from its drivetrain and easy manoeuvrability thanks to its diminutive
proportions. Fuel economy is estimated at an almost unbelievable 1.1 litres per
While it is a zero-emissions car, the company says its construction carbon
footprint is also the lowest of any vehicle with a “well-to-wheel” figure of
Twenty of the Rasas will be produced to take part in a one-year beta trial
before a production model rolls out in 2018. The vehicles will not be sold, but
leased through the company's “sale of service” model, which covers all running
and maintenance costs for a fixed fee, similar to Hyundai's ix35 Fuel Cell deal
in California and General Motors' lease plan for the GM EV1 electric car.
Riversimple Movement founder Hugo Spowers said the prototype demonstrates the
feasibility of compact, light and zero-emissions vehicles.
“The Rasa engineering prototype marks another key milestone in bringing an
affordable and highly-efficient hydrogen-powered car to market. We really have
started from a clean sheet of paper,” he said.
“The Rasa gives us the opportunity to introduce customers to a more convenient
concept of motoring, a lightness of ownership that neither places a burden on
the pockets of motorists or the surrounding environment. The car is simple,
light and fun in every respect.”
The company was founded in 2001 and in 2008 Riversimple launched its first
LifeCar in partnership with Morgan, followed by a technology demonstrator under
the impossible to pronounce moniker “Hyrban”.
The Rasa is a valid insight into future mobility, but with Australia's almost
non-existent hydrogen infrastructure and minimal demand for ultra-eco-friendly
cars, the chances of the little car making it to the local market are about the
same as its emissions – zero.