Text: Marcus De Guzman / Photos: Audi | posted January 12, 2016 14:14
Audi broadens lineup of alternative energy with h-Tron quattro concept
Apart from developing autonomous driving tech and hybrid systems, Audi is also experimenting hydrogen power as well after revealing the h-Trron quattro concept at the 2016 North American International Auto Show.
Promising long range, fast refueling and a sporty road performance, the all-new concept aims to maximize available power from both hydrogen and electricity. It will also have an aerodynamic exterior, and a spacious interior that can accommodate 4 passengers along with 500 liters of luggage.
Starting with its exterior, Audi claimed that like the e-Tron quattro, the h-Tron quattro combines sleek aesthetics and aerodynamics. It has a coupe-like profile thanks to a sloped roofline, long hood and defined character line on the side. The front is distinctly Audi with its hexagonal grill and wraparound Matrix LED headlights. A unique feature of the lights is that they emit blue light when the car is set on 'Pilot Mode' (autonomous drive).
The side gets unique alloy wheels, gray wheel arches, sculpted doors and the previously mentioned character line. The side mirrors have been replaced with cameras for better aerodynamics. The rear heavily resembles the e-Tron quattro with the use of L-shaped taillights, roof-mounted spoiler, contoured tailgate and a diffuser-integrated bumper.
Size-wise, the concept measures 4888mm long, 1930mm wide and 1540mm tall. Beyond that, it has a drag coefficient value of 0.27, further emphasizing its efficiency
Inside, it has bucket seats all around while the cabin itself is upholstered in gray leather. Providing a striking contrast is the ambient LED lighting along with splashes of metal trim. OLED displays dominate the entirety of the cabin; from the instrument cluster, center-mounted infotainment display and the climate control / weather display. The rear passengers have their own entertainment displays mounted on the rear of the front seats.
Storing luggage inside the car has also been improved as Audi also installed an intelligent software that can scan the items and make out the best loading order for the cargo.
The centerpiece of the h-Tron quattro concept is the 110kw (150 PS) fuel cell. It is helped along with a powerful lithium-ion battery that provides an additional 100kw (136 PS) when needed. The battery only weighs 60kg and is placed beneath the passenger compartment to provide a low center of gravity.
The three hydrogen tanks are also placed under the passenger compartment. It provides the concept car with a maximum range of 600 km thanks to a 700 bar pressure and 330 individual cells. Total refueling time takes about four minutes.
The fuel cell system and battery delivers power to two electric motors, one at the front and one at the back. The former generates 90kw (122 PS) while the rear unit provides 140 kw (190 PS). An intelligent management system controls power delivery between the two motors adjusts accordingly when needed.
It also has a total torque output of 550 Nm, which allows the concept car to sprint from 0 – 100 km/h in less than 7 seconds before reaching its limited top speed of 200 km/h.
The h-Tron quattro concept can also increase its maximum range to 1,000 km thanks to a heat pump for the interior air conditioning and a large solar roof panel that can generate up to 320 watts.