Audi Could Be Bringing a Fuel Cell Q6 Called h-tron to NAIAS 2016

Next year is set to debut in force with a lot of manufacturers announcing interesting developments for 2016's first auto show.
Audi Q7 h-tron quattro 1 photo
Photo: Audi
The latest to add to that list is Audi, who, reports say, is likely to bring a fuel cell version of its Q6 e-tron concept. Considering how the automotive industry doesn't seem to have its mind made up just yet concerning which of the two paths to follow (battery power or hydrogen fuel cells), it would make sense for Audi to try and cover both directions. You know, just in case.

Especially since Mercedes-Benz, the company that's probably its main competitor now, is doing the exact same thing. The Stuttgart-based manufacturer has plans for a liquid hydrogen-fueled GLC crossover, and it has recently announced its intentions of offering an electrical version of the same car.

According to Autocar, an Audi spokesperson refused to reveal the identity of the fuel cell car that will be making the trip to Detroit in January, but all signs point towards a conversion of the Q6 e-tron electric SUV.

With the engines already in place, all the Audi engineers would have to do is swap the low-mounted batteries with the fuel cells, and they'd be ready. It's not as simple as it sounds, obviously, but it would still be a lot easier than starting over from scratch.

Audi did show a fuel cell vehicle previously, in the shape of an A7, but this was happening more than a year ago. Besides, launching the new technology on a special model rather than an already existing one would make a lot more sense, as the impact would be greater.

And Audi does seem to be lacking a little in the emotional department, with the latest designs branded as nothing more than slight evolutions of the previous generations. A bolder look for the Q6 h-tron would get people talking, and if the e-tron concept's lines are kept unmodified as much as possible, Audi could be onto a winner here.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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