The Audi H-tron is Audi’s first major foray into the world of hydrogen powered cars. It’s called the H-tron Quattro Concept, and it debuted at the Detroit Motor show with a production version looking to be with us by the end of the decade.
The H-tron is an SUV, one not unlike the Audi E-tron Quattro Concept we saw last year in fact. The two are very closely related. However the H-tron isn’t quite as fast or powerful as the E-tron with a sub-7.0sec 0-62mph time and a (limited) 124mph top speed. The H-tron has a range of 373 miles, and the tanks – which sit below the passengers – can be fully refueled in four minutes.
Drive comes via electric motors, but these are powered by a hydrogen fuel cell as opposed to batteries. The hydrogen system alone can produce 148 horsepower, and three tanks under the passenger compartment carry the fuel. The battery can also provide enough energy for an extra 134 hp for short periods. Its combined torque rating of 406lb-ft.
The H-tron also gets air suspension, allowing different ride heights to bias comfort or sportiness (and aerodynamics), while ginormous 22in wheels shroud ceramic brake discs. Other technologies are abundant, too; a solar roof helps increase efficiency further (The company claims that the solar panel that spans the roof could let drivers recoup 621 miles of range each year from the sun’s rays), while there’s lots of fancy lighting. The front and rear lights use OLEDs, while similar technology forms the basis of the interior displays, which use gently curved screens, just like those posh new TVs.
And it being a concept in 2016, it wouldn’t be complete without a preview of autonomous driving. A gaggle of sensors, scanners and cameras show us the technology that will feature on the 2017 A8, the first Audi to come with self-driving capability.