In addition to bringing its production A4-based Allroad to the North American International Auto Show, Audi also unveiled the h-tron Quattro Concept, which employs a fuel cell to generate power for the vehicle’s electric motors. The German automaker says the fuel cell stack is capable of generating 110kW, while a backup lithium ion battery back can deliver an additional 100 kW for a combined output of more than 270 horsepower.

The Audi h-tron Quattro Concept employs two electric motors, one on each axle to provide all-wheel drive capability. The vehicle is capable of 0-62 mph acceleration of less than 7 seconds. Range is estimated at more than 370 miles and the hydrogen tanks can be refilled in less than 4 minutes.

Also: Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards of 2016

New face, new technology

While the shape of the Audi h-tron Quattro Concept is similar to the Q5/Q7 crossover SUVs, the show car sports a new grille shape that is more horizontal than vertical and features bars that extend to the corners of the front end. LED headlamps are tucked neatly into narrow slits just beneath the hoodline. Prominent wheel-arch flares, large alloy wheels and highly-sculpted  rocker panels are design cues intended to underscore the vehicle’s all-wheel drive capability.

In addition to showcasing the fuel cell powerplant, the Audi h-tron Quattro Concept is also a test bed for future autonomous driving and parking features that will go into production next year in the all-new Audi A8. Called piloted driving by Audi, the system employs a central driver assistance controller that computes a model of the car’s surroundings in real time and uses that data to run the driver-assist and autonomous driving/parking features of the car. The vehicle can take over driving duties when parking or travelling in stop-and-go traffic at speeds up to 37 mph.


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