Many of the electric vehicle concepts that have been revealed over the past couple of years – and that will hopefully be amongst the future models we can actually buy – have been jaw-droppingly stunning to look.

We can now add to that list the Audi PB18 e-tron, an absolutely stonking concept fresh off the drawing boards of the design gurus at the company’s design studio in California and revealed at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance automotive event in August.

Audi’s successful motorsport adventures, and in particular its Le Mans racing program, were the inspiration for the concept, a connection that is noted in the name – PB18 e-tron – which refers both to the Pebble Beach launch venue and to the technological DNA it shares with the Audi R18 e-tron LMP1 racing car.
With all that in mind, the PB18 looks like it could smash a few race track records and indeed that is what it has been designed to be – a radical driving machine for the racetrack and road.

Audi says that in the PB18, the driver is the absolute centre of attention. There are no comfort features to add weight and in their place is a driver’s seat and cockpit that integrated into an inner monocoque shell that is moveable laterally depending on how many occupants are on board.

When driven solo, the monocoque can be positioned in the centre of the interior. When the driver’s monocoque is moved into the side position, fthe PB18 e-tron can be steered in everyday driving like a conventional road vehicle, and there is room for a passenger.

A mix of aluminium, carbon and multi-material composites ensures the body of the Audi PB18 e-tron has a low weight. The company says a total weight of less than 1,550 kg can be expected.

The fully-charged liquid-cooled solid-state battery is good for a range of over 500km in the WLTP cycle and the PB18 is already designed for charging with a voltage of 800 volts. This means the battery can be fully recharged in about 15 minutes.The concept can also be charged via induction with Audi Wireless Charging (AWC).

The PB18 e-tron uses three electric motors – one up front and two in the rear. The latter are centrally located between the steering knuckles, each directly driving one wheel via half-shafts. They deliver up to 150 kW of power to the front axle and 350 kW to the rear. Maximum output is 500 kW, but with boosting the driver can temporarily mobilise up to 570 kW. The combined torque of up to 830 Nm (612.2 lb-ft) allows acceleration from 0 to 62mph in a little over two seconds! Nice.
There you have it – a tate-of-the-art, all-electric beast that looks the absolute business and performs like it.
Bring on the EV revolution.

19 Sep 2018

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