What if hydrogen became obvious? This is the project of the young French brand NamX, with its first hydrogen SUV: the NamX HUV. Close contact with the vehicle in a world premiere.
Head to Cambiano, Italy for the headquarters of legendary Italian designer Pininfarina. It was here that we were able to discover the NamX HUV, a green hydrogen SUV as innovative as it is promising. This is due to its “infinite mobility” ambitions, supported by an intuitive system of removable hydrogen pods. Enough to announce a smoother experience, under a futuristic and muscular design in step with the times.
New Exploration of Automotive Mobility, or NamX
NamX is a young brand founded by French-Moroccan Faouzi Annajah and French designer Thomas de Lussac. Together, the two founders are convinced that hydrogen is the way to reconcile driving pleasure and respect for the environment. Faouzi Annajah’s motto is clear and precise: “everything must change, so that nothing changes”. Understand with this that we must change in terms of energy and impact, but don’t change anything in terms of mobility. The solution chosen is therefore green hydrogen, through a family-friendly, sporty and easy-to-use vehicle. A big challenge given the very small number of hydrogen charging stations in France. But for NamX, this is the only solution.
The NamX HUV (Hydrogen Utility Vehicle), the result of more than 4 years of development, is the first premium hydrogen powered SUV with a hybrid and removable storage system. A vehicle that wants to be more respectful of the environment than the electric one, of which NamX regrets the negative aspects. In particular, the uncertain recycling of batteries, or even the destructive means linked to the extraction of necessary resources. The biggest challenge is therefore to limit global warming without sacrificing mobility. To protect the planet while development continues. NamX is an Afro-European project that brings together “the best industrial and technical partners from Europe and Africa”.
NamX HUV: designed by Pininfarina
On the design side, the brand relies on the know-how of Italian designer Pininfarina. The design process is unprecedented and has its roots in the Theorem 2021 concept car. Remember, it was entirely developed using virtual reality. Today, the NamX HUV is the first physical prototype in Pininfarina’s history, entirely digitally designed. Thanks to augmented reality, there is no need for polystyrene models and other models! The senior designers performed digital sketches, followed by modeling and digitized volumetric controls. The result: a minimalist and heavily muscled SUV coupe, with generous volumes. The waistline, quite high, highlights an “X” carved in relief on the doors. Signature that can also be found on the front face, with the light bands crisscrossed around the grille.
Muscle car enthusiasts might even catch a glimpse of a distant air of a modern Chevrolet Camaro. The surfaces are minimalist and highlighted by very thin LED lighting at the front and back. At the rear precisely, details and lighting are more numerous, but still signed with an “X” in the lower position. This is also where the little “twist” of the NamX HUV is found: a compartment for six hydrogen capsules. But we will come back to that. Very refined in detail, the NamX HUV is above all sporty on the side of the large 22-inch wheels. Finally, the HUV and Pininfarina logos complete the vehicle’s identity. Very successful overall, the HUV stands out without taking too many risks either. On the other hand, it will be necessary to wait a little longer before discovering the interior of the HUV.
Capsules and autonomy: “Infinite Mobility”
The NamX HUV is therefore based on fuel cells as well as an ingenious system of removable pods as secondary tanks. Six in number, the pods can be installed and removed very easily from the rear of the vehicle. It must be admitted that the process offers some satisfaction: the transparent shutter located under the tailgate opens automatically and then advances the capsules out. Spaceship atmosphere guaranteed. Then, simply remove the capsules, which can be carried with one hand. In addition to a design worthy of designer accessories (which are, somewhere!), the capsules are easy to handle. Thanks to this innovative system, the NamX HUV claims a range of 800 kilometers.
NamX thus intends to reduce the constraints linked to low carbon travel (charging time, immobilization, proximity to stations, etc.). A home delivery system (by subscription) should see the light of day and the capsules can be used for various purposes, in addition to the brand’s vehicles. For his part, Paolo Pininfarina insists on the link between innovation and design, for clean and limitless mobility: “Pininfarina is not just design and style in their purest form. It’s also about innovation, user experience and bringing our vision of a sustainable future to life. The NamX HUV is simply at the heart of our DNA: inventing the ultimate driving experience for infinite mobility, in style. »
From 300 to 550 hp, from €65,000
The NamX HUV will be offered in two versions. The first model will develop 300 hp with the rear engine, for a top speed of 200 km/h. The second, called GTH, will develop 550 hp in all-wheel drive for 250 km/h. The 0 to 100 km/h is shot in 6.5 and 4.5 seconds, respectively. The clean hydrogen SUV will start at around €65,000 in a two-wheel drive version. It will go up to around €95,000 depending on the configuration and options chosen.
The HUV will be present at the Paris 2022 World Cup next October and could be further refined by then. However, we hope that this new player, together with established references such as the Hyundai Nexo or the Toyota Mirai, or even the impressive French hydrogen sedan Hopium Machina, will help convince operators to advance even faster in the development of infrastructures and networks of hydrogen charging stations!