NAIAS 2016: Audi h-tron quattro SUV Concept Makes Hydrogen Cooler

There’s no reason why new alternative fuel cars can’t look great. We’re starting to see the automotive business figure that out consistently, as proven by the new Audi h-tron quattro SUV Concept that debuted here at NAIAS 2016 this morning.

An all-hydrogen vehicle, the h-tron quattro (…They spell it in all small case letters. Don’t ask me. Maybe hydrogen disables the Shift key…) is arguably the first of its breed to be fully off-road capable.

Also: NAIAS 2016: Mercedes-Benz Sets the Pace with new E-Class

According to Audi’s debut event, the Audi h-tron quattro SUV Concept promises 272 horsepower out of its 110 kilowatts, all hydrogen fuel cell power train. More importantly, Audi looks to beat the ever-present problem for alternative fuel vehicles — range limitations — with hydrogen tanks that can be refueled in about four minutes while providing a range of roughly 379 miles. Final range and refueling numbers would depend on driving style.

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Add to all of hose details the fact that the Audi h-tron quattro SUV Concept is a great looking vehicle — a luxury crossover with exterior styling to match any other vehicles in its class. It’s more proof that alternative fuel vehicles don’t have to be hideous to call attention to the smug enlightenment of their buyers. Audi isn’t succumbing to that tired, fading aesthetic.

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While it’s still a concept and there’s never guarantee such a vehicle will go into production, Audi obviously didn’t go to all the trouble of designing a hydrogen fuel cell system if it wasn’t destined to send a car like the h-tron quattro SUV Concept down the gasoline-free road.

Indications are that whatever this h-tron quattro SUV Concept might become within Audi’s actual production line, we’ll see the end product announced by 2017. It’s safe to say it’ll emerge as a crossover or SUV akin to the h-tron quattro for limited production in hydrogen-friendly states like California and Oregon.

Photos courtesy Audi