After yesterday’s announcement, the Audi A7 Sportback h-Tron Quattro technology demonstrator was unveiled at the 2014 LA Auto Show. According to Audi, the h-tron quattro uses a sporty electric drive with a fuel cell as its energy source, in combination with the hybrid battery and an addition electric motor in the rear.
The total output delivered by the electrical system is 229 hp (170 kW) and as expected it is transferred to both the front and rear wheels. Audi says that the A7 Sportback h-tron Quattro can hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.9 seconds, while top speed is 180 km/h or almost 112 mph.
Meanwhile, with a full tank of fuel, the vehicle has a range of over 500 km (310.7 miles), while emitting only few drops of water. If the exterior shows just a standard A7 Sportback, beneath the stylish design there is a fuel cell installed at the front. Here is how the system works: Hydrogen is supplied to the anode, where it is broken down into protons and electrons.
The protons migrate through the membrane to the cathode, where they react with the oxygen present in air to form water vapor. Outside the stack the electrons supply the electrical power – depending on load point, the individual cell voltage is 0.6 to 0.8 volts. Other elements include a turbocharger that forces air into the cells, a recirculation fan and a coolant pump.
The A7 Sportback h-tron Quattro is also a plug-in hybrid and arrives with a lithium-ion battery with a 8.8 kWh energy capacity, ‘borrowed’ from the A3 Sportback e-tron. Using just the energy stored in the battery, the vehicle has a range of up to 50 km or 31.1 miles.
The battery can be recharged using an industrial power socket (360 volts) in two hours, while using a domestic power socket (230 volts) takes up to four hours.
The electric motors used to drive the front and rear axles are cooled by a low-temperature circuit together with the voltage converters. Each electric motor delivers 85 kW or 114 kW if the voltage is temporary raised, while peak torque is 270 Nm (199 lb-ft).