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Audi h-tron concept unveiled, previews future hydrogen fuel cell tech

Audi took to Detroit to unveil the interesting new h-tron quattro concept, which previews zero-emissions technology that could eventually make it to production.

Audi h-tron quattro concept

The h-tron concept exemplifies Audi’s endeavour toward eco-friendly technologies, powered by two electric motors, front and rear, connected to a hydrogen fuel cell. The electric motor at the front throws out 90kW, while the rear provides 140kW. In addition, the battery pack can also provide a temporary boost of up to 100 kW.

This translates to a sub 7-second 0-100km/h run, which is admirable considering the h-tron is a bulky SUV. Part of the performance is thanks to the 550Nm of torque on offer. Audi claims a range of more than 600km with a full tank, and refuelling takes around four minutes. Audi also says the concept consumes around 1kg of hydrogen per 100km.

The h-tron isn’t just about clever powertrain technology. It also comes fitted with Audi’s latest autonomous, ‘piloted driving’ technology which is set to make its debut on the next-generation A8 production car in 2017. The “zFAS” system is capable of taking full control of the car at speeds up to 60km/h and during parking. It’s all possible thanks to radar sensors, a new kind of video camera, ultrasonic sensors and a laser scanner.

As for the interior, it’s packed with advanced gizmos and geeky tech, such as two touch displays in addition to a central virtual cockpit and curved OLED, gesture control, and unique steering wheel spokes with contoured touch surfaces.

2016 Audi h-tron concept-interior

The h-tron is just a concept at this stage, but we can expect to see some of the features here popping up in Audi models in the not-too-distant future. Audi says:

“The Audi h-tron quattro concept car offers a preview of what future mobility could look like… With an efficiency rating in excess of 60 percent, the fuel cell now surpasses any combustion engine.”

Alexi is a contributing news journalist and junior road tester at PerformanceDrive. He has a passion and appreciation for the engineering in cars, as well as new technologies that lessen the impact on the environment. His dream cars are an M3 to drive to work, and a LaFerrari for the weekend.