Alternative fuel is certainly the theme of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. With everything from fully-electric vehicles to plug-in hybrids and even hydrogen cars, car companies are really pushing alternative fuels in Frankfurt, this year. Even Audi debuted its Aicon Concept, a fully-electric and fully-autonomous vision for the future. But, more practically, Audi also had two other alternative fuel cars on hand, cars that can be used today — the Audi A4 and A5 Sportback g-tron.
Audi’s g-tron technology is a bit odd and one that we’re not sure a ton of people will use. However, it’s interesting and we appreciate Audi trying something different, rather than just the slew of boring hybrids of most mainstream automakers.
Essentially, both the Audi A4 g-tron and Audi A5 Sportback g-tron are capable of running on three different types of fuel — gasoline, compressed natural gas (CNG) or Audi’s e-gas. The latter is a sort of fuel that’s made by splitting water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen. Then, Audi uses methanation to create synthetic natural gas out of hydrogen. It’s quite technical and sciency and, frankly, too much for my feeble brain. But it is fascinating and it’s a perfectly clean, renewable way to make fuel, so it’s really quite a good idea.
The 2.0 TFSI engine under the hood of both cars is the same and makes about 170 hp. First, it runs on CNG or e-gas, until that tank hits about 10 Bar, then the gasoline back up kicks in. On CNG alone, the g-tron twins can get about 310 miles out of a tank. After that, they can get an additional 279 miles. So, in total, it can get around 590 miles of range when completely topped off. That’s quite a lot, especially considering that the CNG miles create far fewer emissions than gasoline.
Both of these cars were on display at the Audi stand in Frankfurt and we were able to take some live pictures for you to see. Check them out.