The German automaker, which showed off the concept sedan at the Los Angeles Auto Show last month, is pairing a plug-in electric motor with a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. Each motor powers two wheels, maintaining the Quattro's all-wheel-drive pedigree. The car's 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery can drive the car as far as 31 miles on battery-power alone. After that, the water-vapor-spewing fuel-cell engine kicks in.
Audi executive Ulrich Hackenberg told Automotive News Europe that the unusual set-up is necessary because the hydrogen fuel cell powertrain alone would only power two wheels while providing an insufficient 136 horsepower. Not exactly sport-sedan material, especially for a car that weighs about 4,300 pounds, even if it is a zero-emission ride.
Combined, the two engines give the sedan 231 horsepower as well as a combined single-charge/full-tank range of almost 350 miles. What it all means is that the A7 can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than eight seconds and has a top speed of about 112 miles per hour, and can still dash through the snow.