What’s you’re looking at here is the new Audi PB18 e-tron, a concept representing the German brand’s “radical vision” for the high-performance sports car of the future.
Unveiled at Pebble Beach, the all-electric PB18 e-tron was styled at the Ingolstadt-based brand’s new design studio in Malibu, with technical input from the studious folks over Audi Sport. The automaker says the “PB18 e-tron” moniker refers both to the Pebble Beach venue and to the “technological DNA it shares with the successful LMP1 racing car”, the R18 e-tron.
Interestingly, Audi says there are “no complex systems for piloted driving on board and no comfort features to add weight”. In their place you’ll find a driver’s seat and cockpit integrated into an inner monocoque shell that, fascinatingly, can be slid laterally.
Thus, when driven solo, the monocoque can be positioned in the centre of the cabin (ideal for the race track, as Audi points out). But when the driver’s monocoque is shifted into the side position, from where the PB18 e-tron can be used in everyday driving, there is room for a passenger.
Audi says a mix of aluminium, carbon and multi-material composites, along with the adoption of a “comparatively light” solid-state battery, means the PB18 e-tron tips the scales at just 1 550 kg. It measures 4,53 metres long, two metres wide and 1,15 metres tall, with a wheelbase of 2,70 metres.
The all-wheel-drive concept employs three electric motors: one up front and two at the rear. The latter are centrally located between the steering knuckles, each directly driving a wheel via half-shafts.
The result is up to 150 kW for power for the front axle and 350 kW for the rear. Maximum system output is 500 kW, although the driver can temporarily draw on up to 570 kW thanks to a "boost" function. Total system torque comes in at 830 N.m, facilitating a claimed acceleration time from zero to 100 km/h in “scarcely more than 2 seconds”.
The liquid-cooled battery has an energy capacity of 95 kWh, with a full charge (which would take about 15 minutes on 800-volt charging) providing for a range of over 500 km, says Audi.