Audi is always looking to the future of motoring, and with the release of the H-tron SUV concept in Detroit, hydrogen-powered cars were the next step.
The H-tron is the latest concept to be released by Audi in the non-fossil fuel range - following on from the e-tron electric concept, with that system becoming available to buy in 2013.
This forward-looking car is fitted with a highly efficient hydrogen fuel cell that produces up to 110kW (147hp), along with a lightweight lithium-ion battery that produces a 100kW (134hp) power boost when the driver needs it.
With solar panels fitted on the roof as well – which could add up to another 620 miles of range per year – the distance between refuelling could go up to 372 miles on one tank of hydrogen, with one kilogram of fuel used every 62 miles.
The concept has an electric motor fitted on both the front and rear axles, which helps the quattro-fitted model accelerate to 60 in under seven seconds, with a limited top speed of 124 mph.
Designed on the same modular platform (MLB evo) as the e-tron concept, it still has space to fit the battery and hydrogen systems in, with the lithium-ion placed under the passenger compartment helping lower the centre of gravity. The battery also recovers power through braking, similar to a Formula One car’s MGU-K system.
To help with the efficiency, the streamlined body reduces drag to save fuel at speed, whilst the solar panels and an interior heat pump for air conditioning help to keep overall power usage down.
The H-tron also comes fitted with the zFAS driver assistance system, which tracks the surroundings of the car to assist the driver in staying as safe as possible and can also take control of the car through parking and stop and go traffic at speeds of up to 37 mph.
These features will be available on the next iteration of the A8 saloon, so the technology is very much in the pipeline to be on the road imminently.