New all-electric Audi PB18 e-tron concept revealed

The Audi PB18 e-tron concept previews what a future all-electric supercar from the brand could look like

This is the Audi PB18 e-tron Concept, a new technical showcase that previews what an electric supercar from the German firm could look like. 

The striking appearance was penned in Audi’s design studio in Malibu, California, and takes inspiration from both the brand’s former LMP1 racers and its last electric concept, the 2017 Aicon. Measuring 4.53 metres long, 2 metres wide and 1.15 metres tall, the PB18 e-tron has the cab-forward design of the Audi R8 but features extended bodywork to give it the appearance of a shooting brake.

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An active rear diffuser and spoiler help to deliver downforce when on track, while the bonnet – which creates a bridge between the wheel arches – takes clear cues from motorsport, too. Not only does the open space smooth the flow of air at the front, but gives the driver a view of the road directly ahead.

The long shooting brake-style back end sets the PB18’s profile, and gives an entirely un-supercar-like 470 litres of boot space. That’s almost what you get from an Audi A4 saloon.

As standard it operates as a two seater; but when driven solo on track the driver’s seat, wheel and pedals can slide electrically into a central position – made possible by the fact that there’s no mechanical connection to the drive controls. If you want to get out, the seat can move back to the side again.

Wherever the seat is positioned, the driver is presented with a transparent OLED screen ahead. As well as showing all the usual driving data, this can superimpose racing lines onto the windscreen when on track.

While Audi’s last EV concept demonstrated the most advanced self-driving tech, the PB18 is all about placing the human in control. There’s no autonomous add-ons to be found here, nor are there any other creature comforts that’d weigh the car down.

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Weight is the enemy of any track car, yet it’s normally a given with any EV. However, the use of aluminium and composites in the PB18’s construction means that the overall weight is expected to dip below 1,550kg – or lighter than the rear-wheel drive Audi R8 RWS.

That weight comes despite a three e-motor setup: one on the front axle and two on the rear. Combined, they produce 671bhp and 830Nm of torque. With drive sent to all four wheels, the PB18 e-tron is claimed to cover the 0-62mph sprint in just over two seconds. 

Each of the rear motors directly drives one wheel, which allows near-instant torque vectoring characteristics. The concept also features inboard suspension front and rear and rides on 22-inch wheels. 

Charge is maintained thanks to aggressive motor regeneration. Only during heavy deceleration do the physical brakes – carbon discs that measure 19 inches at the front – come into play. Otherwise, the electric motors do the slowing down. 

The regeneration system helps to replenish the 95kWh solid state battery, which enables the PB18 to cover 311 miles per charge on the WLTP testing system. Thanks to 800-volt compatibility, it can be fully charged in around 15 minutes, and can even be topped-up wirelessly through inductive charging.

The PB18 e-tron concept makes its public debut at Pebble Beach Automotive Week in Monterey, California.

Read our in-depth review of the Audi R8 supercar right here…

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