Audi Hints At Q8 With h-tron quattro Fuel Cell Concept

Audi h-tron quattro concept, 2016 Detroit Auto Show

Audi has demonstrated the versatility of its new MLB Evo platform by unveiling yet another concept based on the platform, this time packing a hydrogen fuel cell stack. The latest concept is virtually identical to the battery-electric e-tron quattro rolled out at the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show, though thanks to its fuel cell stack it dons Audi’s h-tron label.

The string of concepts preview a new Audi crossover coming onto the market in the coming years, one we learned today at the Detroit Auto Show will be badged a Q8 and not a Q6 as previously thought. The move makes sense as the vehicle, at least in battery-electric guise, will target the Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] Model X whose starting price is over $80k.

So far Audi has only confirmed the battery-electric version for calendar year 2018. It’s not clear if we’ll also see a version with a fuel cell stack, though the h-tron quattro concept at least hints at the possibility.

The concept features an electric motor at each axle, a lithium-ion battery in the vehicle floor, two hydrogen storage tanks at the rear, and a fuel cell stack under the hood. Like most hydrogen-powered cars, the fuel cell stack combines stored hydrogen with oxygen from the air in a process that creates electricity and emits only water. The created electricity charges the battery which then powers the electric motors for motion, though it can also be sent directly to the motors for a temporary boost in power.

With the hydrogen tanks filled, Audi says the vehicle could drive more than 350 miles. The vehicle is also sporty, with the 0-62 mph time said to be less than 7.0 seconds.

For more from the Detroit Auto Show, head to our dedicated hub.

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