The cockpit can be switched from a two-person layout to a single-seater for track driving.
We're so used to seeing futuristic-looking concept cars designed to showcase advanced autonomous driving technology that Audi's latest concept car is wholly refreshing. Presented at Pebble Beach, the Audi PB18 e-tron Concept is devoid of self-driving technologies. Instead, Audi has focused on the driving experience to show what the driver-focused electric supercar of our dreams could look like in the future.
Three electric motors power the car, with a 201-hp unit at the front and two other motors powering the rear wheels providing an additional 604 hp. Drive it conservatively, and the concept delivers a combined power output of 671 hp and 612 lb-ft of torque, but peak power of 764 hp is possible in short bursts, allowing the concept to hit 0-62 mph in a little over two seconds.
As well as being powerful, the concept has also been designed to be extremely efficient. While being driven, the Audi PB18 e-tron recovers large amounts of energy as the electric motors are solely responsible for slowing the car down during moderate braking, with the hydraulic brakes taking over for heavy braking. Having separate electric motors on the rear axles has also allowed Audi to implement a Torque Control Manager to enhance the car's sporty handling. Working with the Electronic Stabilization Control, this system actively distributes the power to the wheels of the front and rear axles when needed for maximum stability and driving pleasure.
In terms of design, the PB18 e-tron's striking shape is inspired by Audi's successful R18 e-tron quattro Le Mans race car and features a similar suspension setup combining push-rods on the front axle with pull-rods at the rear with magnetic ride shock absorbers. The wheels measure 22 inches in diameter and are fitted with 275/35 tires in the front and 315/30 in the back. Large carbon brake discs with a 19-inch diameter provide significant stopping power in conjunction with the electric brake.
The interior is also very futuristic as the cockpit can be switched from a two-person layout to a single-seater configuration for track driving. With the latter setup, the driver is cocooned in the center of the cockpit. The windshield also incorporates an augmented reality system that displays information such as the ideal racing line. Sadly, Audi isn't planning to put the PB18 e-tron into production, but we're hoping it will one day inspire a future halo car to showcase the technology of Audi's electric e-tron range.