It looks like Audi is about to make the first step into its new ’tron’ range of sustainable technologies. British magazine, AutoCar, is reporting that the company will start testing a fuel-cell-powered A7 at the end of August. It looks like the announcement was made by Audi’s technical chief, Wolfgang Dürheimer, who denied offering any other details on the model.
A fuel-cell-powered auto uses hydrogen as fuel and oxygen from the ambient air to create the energy needed to charge the battery or to drive the electric motors. If you do the molecular math, Hydrogen plus Oxygen equals water. Yup, no tailpipe emissions; just water.
In fact, for Audi this is not its first attempt in developing a fuel-cell vehicle. Back in 2009, the maker tested the Q5 HFC – an SUV that used two high-pressure cylinders of hydrogen to supply a fuel cell that powered a pair of electric motors.
Whether Audi builds a fuel-cell powered A7 or not is still a big question, considering the lack of an established hydrogen infrastructure. Even so, testing is always a good exercise.
The current Audi A7 was unveiled late in 2010 and put on sale in 2011. The model is offered with a choice of four engines: a 2.8-liter FSI engine producing 201 horsepower; a 3.0-liter TFSI engine that produces 296 horsepower; a 3.0-liter TDI producing 210 horsepower; and a 3.0-liter TDI producing 242 horsepower.
If you want more power, you can also opt for the S7 version which gets a V-8 engine with an output of 420 horsepower.
On the U.S. market, the A7 is priced from $60,100 and the S7 is priced from $78,800.