In Brief

Audi unveils hydrogen-powered H-Tron Concept

Show car hailed at Detroit Motor Show, but doubts remain whether the technology will make production

Audi has revealed an all-new hydrogen fuel-cell concept car at the 2016 Detroit Motor Show.

The H-Tron Quattro Concept uses hydrogen power rated at 148bhp mated to a 100kW battery for a 373-mile range - "significantly more than many all-electric cars," notes Auto Express. Refuelling takes four minutes and Audi are billing the technological showcase as "production relevant".

The zero-emissions SUV has been created to show off a fifth-generation version of Audi's fuel-cell stack, which is currently under development. Drive itself comes from electric motors on each axle - the front with an output of 90kW and 140kW on the rear one. Despite this, Top Gear says it "ought to drive as quietly and seamlessly as a typical EV".

The H-Tron Concept is much in the same lieu as the E-Tron Concept shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2015 and style-wise, both cars are previews of an upcoming Audi Q6, a rival for the BMW X6.

The H-Tron isn't as powerful as its all-electric concept sibling, however. Combined, its drivetrain produces around 282bhp - still good enough for a sub-seven second 0-62mph time. Top speed is limited to 124mph.

Inside, the cockpit is screen heavy, with three large Oled displays as well as two touch displays and Audi's virtual cockpit instrument binnacle. There's two curved displays in the door-cards which serve as digital exterior mirrors while in the back, two tablet displays allow passengers to share information with the driver.

The H-Tron isn't just a hydrogen-power demonstration, though, it also features autonomous tech.

According to Autocar, Audi's assertions that some of the technology on the H-Tron is "production relevant" will translate into a production model of the concept in 2020. However, Car magazine disagrees, saying that is " unlikely."

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