Audi says its A7 h-tron quattro is the world’s first sporty fuel-cell car

In a world with precious few hydrogen fueling stations, fuel-cell cars are having a hard enough time proving that they can be viable alternatives to the internal-combustion standard, let alone the stuff dreams are made of.

Yet Audi claims the A7 h-tron quattro, a fuel-cell conversion of its sleek five-door fastback unveiled at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, is as focused on performance as it is one efficiency.

Like nearly every other Audi, the A7 h-tron has quattro all-wheel drive, but this system isn’t like anything seen before.

In this “e-quattro” system, one electric motor is used to drive each axle, meaning there is no mechanical connection between the front and rear wheels. Instead, software manages power output to keep everything in order.

Each motor produces 85 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque, although voltage can be temporarily increased to yield 152 hp from each motor.

Audi says the combined efforts of both motors will launch the A7 h-tron quattro to 62 mph from a standstill in 7.1 seconds, and propel it to a top speed of 111 mph.

That’s not exactly supercar stuff, but it’s better than the estimated 10-second 0 to 60 mph time of the 2016 Toyota Mirai.

Like the Toyota, though, the Audi offers range comparable to a gasoline car. Four onboard storage tanks can hold enough hydrogen for 310 miles of driving and – taking full advantage of the A7’s dinosaur-fueled roots – they’re mounted under the hood, where the engine would normally be.

However, the A7 h-tron also has another source of power. It’s likely the first fuel-cell plug-in hybrid.

In addition to hydrogen, it carries the 8.8-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack from the A3 Sportback e-tron, which can be charged by plugging in or through regenerative braking.

The pack provides 31 miles of range on its own, giving the driver a bit more flexibility.

So what we have here is a performance-oriented luxury hydrogen fuel-cell plug-in hybrid. Talk about trying to be all things to all people.

For now, though, the A7 h-tron quattro is just a “technology demonstrator,” according to Audi, although it would be interesting to see how the public reacts to its unusual combination of powertrain elements.

Product Review

By adding features, tech, and all-wheel drive, Mazda puts the 3 in a class of one

Since its introduction in 2003, Mazda’s compact Mazda3 has been a mainstay of the brand’s driver-oriented strategy. Mazda now plans to move upmarket, and the all-new 2019 Mazda3 offers some clues about how that’s going to work.

Flex your thumbs (and your brain) with these fun texting games

Gaming consoles keep getting more advanced, but you can still have fun with the good old Latin alphabet. Here are our picks for the best texting games, so you can make the most fun out of that limited data plan or basic cell phone.

Shift it yourself: How to drive stick in a manual transmission car

Driving a manual transmission car might seem intimidating at first, but it's not as difficult as you might think. Knowing how to operate this type of gearbox will serve you well. Here's everything you need to know to learn how to drive…

FWD vs. RWD vs. AWD: How the wheels that turn change the way you drive

Let's face it, you've likely heard front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive mentioned before in some context or another. But what do these terms mean, especially in terms of performance? We’ve got the answers.
Product Review

The Ferrari Portofino is the super stallion you’ll want to drive every day

With the introduction of the Portofino, Ferrari addresses the California T’s stylistic shortcomings while improving comfort, convenience, and performance. There’s little “entry-level” about this super stallion.

Autonomous shuttle rides coming to New York City via Optimus Ride

Workers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in NY City will soon be able to make their way around the 300-acre industrial park in Optimus Ride's self-driving shuttles. The tech startup says it's the first trial of its kind in the state.
Product Review

2019 Volkswagen Jetta offers German refinement and tech at an affordable price

With enough tech to make villains jealous, the Volkswagen Jetta punches above its class as a forward-thinking sedan. Spacious, comfortable, and efficient, the Jetta is a refined offering. German refinement comes with a serious attitude.

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi group uses Microsoft cloud platform for connected cars

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is launching a new cloud platform for its cars. Based on Microsoft Azure, the Alliance Intelligent Cloud will enable features like connected services and over-the-air updates.

The 2019 Toyota C-HR gains a popular tech feature as its price comes down

Toyota has updated the C-HR, its entry-level crossover, by adding an entry-level trim level to the lineup. Every model regardless of price also comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen compatible with Apple CarPlay.

The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe is an exercise in form-over-function design

Porsche expanded its lineup of SUVs with a swoopier evolution of the Cayenne named Cayenne Coupe. Don't let the name fool you: it still has four doors. It stands out with a fastback-like roofline that's lower than the Cayenne's.
Product Review

Chris is the virtual co-pilot phone-obsessives need in their car

Driving while using your phone is dangerous, and often illegal. Meet Chris, the digital assistant for your car that wants to help keep your hands off your phone, and your eyes on the road.

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.

Tesla revives its referral program with chances to win a Roadster

Tesla has revived its referral program that ended in February because of cost pressures. This time around the perks aren't quite as diverse, though it does offer regular chances to win a Roadster or Model Y.

Tesla ends scheduled servicing because electric cars need less maintenance

Tesla will longer offer scheduled maintenance plans, switching to an "as needed" model. This reflects the fact that electric cars need less regular maintenance than gasoline or diesel cars.