Hydrogen-fuelled Audi h-tron quattro concept revealed

What’s an Audi h-tron quattro, then?

An SUV-shaped showcase for Audi’s latest hydrogen fuel cell powertrain technology, with a claimed range of up to 372 miles (600km)

What do I need to know?

The h-tron quattro uses a near-production fuel cell system, Audi’s fifth generation of the technology. It’s much improved over the current system used in the A7 h-tron prototype, using lighter materials which, claims Audi, improves performance and efficiency.

The fuel cell stack – consisting of 330 individual cells – generates a claimed 148bhp and feeds a pair of electric motors, one on each axle. The front-mounted motor produces 121bhp, which the rear unit makes 188bhp. An additional lithium-ion battery pack can provide another 134bhp for short periods. Total torque amounts to 406lb/ft.

Waste energy is recovered via a heat pump in the fuel cell stack and regenerative braking. Another heat pump for the aircon and solar roof panel boost efficiency, generating the equivalent of up to 620 miles of extra range annually.

Audi claims a range of up to 372 miles, with a refueling time of around four minutes, similar to filling a conventional fuel tank. The composite reinforced polymer tanks live under the bonnet.

A 0-62mph time of under seven seconds is quoted, while top speed is limited to 124mph.

Behind the technology, the h-tron uses VW Group’s MLB Evo, as will be used by the next-gen Q5. In fact, it’s a distinct possibility that the h-tron is a thinly-veiled preview of the Q5.

At 4.88m long and 1.93m wide, it’s the right sort of size and the elongated fastback shape looks perfectly plausible. Particular attention has been paid to aero, with various elements down the flanks, on the underbody and at the rear.

Audi’s Matrix laser headlight tech features, along with OLED elements in the front and rear lights. Cameras take the place of door mirrors.

Inside, the h-tron’s dashboard houses many OLED screens that display and control the car’s functions, some of which are gesture-controlled. The h-tron is capable of piloted driving too, using an advanced video camera, ultrasonic sensors and laser scanners which feed information to a central computer that models the car’s surroundings. Autonomous driving while parking and in stop-start traffic at speeds up to 37mph is possible. Much of that tech will be seen on the 2017 A8 saloon.

Anything else?

While hydrogen-fuelled cars produce zero local emissions, they are only truly zero-emissions if the hydrogen they use is produced from renewable energy. Since 2013, Audi has run just such a facility in Northern Germany.

When can I buy one?

2020. Possibly.

For more information click here

By Only Motors

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