Taking centre stage at Audi’s stand at the Pebble Beach Monterey Car Week in California is their all-electric Audi PB18 e-tron concept car. The PB18 e-tron concept was created as a design and technology study for the brand’s vision for a high-performance sports car of the future.
Penned at Audi’s new design studio in Malibu, California, the name PB18 e-tron was derived from Pebble Beach venue for the premiere and its technological DNA it shares with the Audi R18 e-tron LMP1 race car.
While Audi’s previous concepts were focused on connected mobility and autonomous driving, the PB18 e-tron had an internal working title of “Level Zero” which refers to zero development focus on autonomous driving on the road. As such, they were able to create a radical driving machine for the race track and public roads.
The PB18 e-tron follows the traditional package of a mid-engine sports car where the centre of gravity is located between the seats and rear axle – all in the name of driving dynamics. Although the concept car does not feature a conventional internal combustion engine unit, the car’s battery pack will be strategically placed to achieve the balance of a traditional mid-engine sports car.
Measuring at 4.53 m in length, 2 m in width and just 1.15 m tall with a wheelbase of 2.70 m, the PB18 e-tron will use a mix of aluminium, carbon and multi-material composites as well as light solid-state battery to give the car an expected total weight of less than 1,550 kg.
Despite its radical design, Audi combined the elements of a Le Mans race car, a coupe and a shooting brake to give the PB18 e-tron its distinctive silhouette. Every crease and openings are there purposefully to achieve exceptional aerodynamics. Although, we can’t help to think that the front end appears to be hinting at the next-generation R8’s design.
Inside, the PB18 e-tron features a variable seating position whereby the driver’s seat can be pushed to the centre for a pure race car driving experience or be mounted on the side to seat another passenger.
Powered by three electric motors – one up front and two at the rear, the PB18 e-tron commands 500 kW (680 hp) and up to 830 Nm of torque which can be momentarily boosted to 570 kW (775 hp). The all-wheel-drive electric concept car is capable of sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h in just slightly over 2 seconds.
The liquid-cooled solid-state battery has an energy capacity of 95 kWh and it can travel up to 500 km on a single charge. Audi also remarked that the PB18 e-tron is compatible with fast charging technology (800 volts) which can fully charge the batteries in 15 minutes. Additionally, Audi Wireless Charging (AWC) technology is also integrated into the concept car for a seamless charging experience.