Audi PB18 e-tron unveiled

Audi has unveiled a new concept at Pebble Beach for Monterey Car Week in the shape of the PB18 e-tron. The all-electric model features a number of advanced features that could well make it to production models in the future.

The powertrain is made up of three electric motors, delivering 150 kW to the front axle and 350 kW to the rear. The maximum 500 kW can be boosted for short periods to 570 kW though, and torque is rated at 830 Nm.

As such, performance is quick to say the least. The 0-62mph sprint is completed in ‘scarcely more than 2 seconds – a speed that differs only marginally from that of a current LMP1 prototype’.

This reference to LMP1 prototypes showcases some of the technology that Audi has brought over from its multi-Le Mans winning racing programme. As is the use of 18 e-tron in the name, referencing the R18 e-tron quattro, which won the Le Mans 24 hour race in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

The 90 kWh battery, with a range of more than 300 miles based on the WLTP cycle. Able to charge at ultra-rapid speeds, the 800 V system will allow charging off 350+ kW charge points for a fully recharged battery in just 15 minutes. Wireless charging is also possible with the PB18 e-tron.

As such, the PB18 e-tron isn’t a particularly advanced concept in terms of powertrain. The e-tron quattro production model due later this year will feature a 90 kWh battery, and be able to charge on ultra-rapids at speeds of up to 150 kW. The one big difference though is that the concept car’s power pack is a solid-state battery.

The suspension though is brought over from the R18 e-tron quattro racing car, and the controls can be moved depending on how many occupants there, with the wheel and pedals on a drive-by-wire system, using no mechanical linkages. This also means the driver can place the controls in the centre of the car.

Aerodynamics have been carefully considered, with many of the large openings required to cool components within the PB18 e-tron. The battery pack is located behind the driver, where an engine would be for a conventionally-powered mid-engine car. This keeps the centre of gravity low, and in the middle of the car for improved driving dynamics.

This focus on driving is a different take on recent Audi concepts, which have features a number of advanced autonomous driving systems of various levels. The working title for the PB18 e-tron was ‘Level Zero’, deliberately moving the model away from Levels 3, 4, and 5 of autonomous driving technology.

Audi PB18 e-tron concept Pebble Beach

Find out more about electric cars here

Chris Lilly

Author:Chris Lilly
Date Updated:24th Aug 2018

Related news