Audi PB18 e-tron
High-performance sports car with electric drive: For the first time, Audi is presenting a design and technical concept car at Pebble Beach Automotive Week in Monterey, California. The all-electric Audi PB18 e-tron presents a radical vision for the high-performance sports car of tomorrow. Broad and flat, visibly inspired by the wind tunnel and the race track, its very presence signals that it is destined to push boundaries.
For race track and road
Gael Buzyn is Head of the Audi Design Loft in Malibu – where the Audi PB18 e-tron was born. He describes the most important item in the specifications: “We want to offer the driver an experience that is otherwise available only in a racing car like the Audi R18. That’s why we developed the interior around the ideal driver’s position in the center. Nevertheless, our aim was to also give the PB18 e-tron a high degree of everyday usability, not just for the driver, but also for a potential passenger.”
Inspiration drawn from motorsport
A mix of aluminum, carbon and multi-material composites ensures the body of the Audi PB18 e-tron has a low basic weight. Not least thanks to the innovative and comparatively light solid-state battery, a total weight of less than 1,550 kg (3,417.2 lb) can be expected.
A flat red band of lights extends across the entire width of the rear and underscores the horizontal orientation of the vehicle body. The cabin, placed on the broad shoulders of the wheel arches, appears almost dainty from the rear. The rear diffuser air outlet has been raised high – another functional feature borrowed from motorsport. The diffuser can be moved downward mechanically to increase downforce. The rear spoiler, which normally is fixed, can be extended rearward for the same purpose.
Wide and flat light units with integrated digital matrix technology and laser high-beam headlights complete the face of the PB18 e-tron.
The Audi designers have taken a new tack for air flow through the front hood. The hood dips deeply and acts as a lateral bridge running across the nose, connecting the two emphatically accentuated fenders and also doubling as an air deflector.
At the same time, this layout offers the driver a unique quality of visibility, and not just on the race track. Looking through the large windshield from the low seating position, the driver sees precisely into the opening of the ventilated hood and onto the road, and can thus perfectly target the course and apex of the curve. Mounted within the field of vision is a transparent OLED surface. The ideal line of the next curve can be shown on it, for example, precisely controlled with data from navigation and vehicle electronics. In normal road traffic, on the other hand, the direction arrows and other symbols from the navigation system find a perfect place here in the driver’s field of vision, analogous to a head-up display.
The large-format cockpit itself is designed as a freely programmable unit and can be switched between various layouts for the racetrack or the road, depending on the scenario for use.
Three electric motors and quattro drive
In normal road traffic, the driver can limit the maximum speed in favor of range. This limitation is easy to deactivate on the racetrack and can be adapted to local conditions.
The focus is on not just powerful performance but also maximum efficiency. While being driven, the Audi PB18 e-tron recovers large amounts of energy: up to moderate braking, the electric motors are solely responsible for decelerating the vehicle. The hydraulic brakes only come into play for heavy braking.
The Audi PB18 e-tron can also be charged cordlessly via induction with Audi Wireless Charging (AWC). This is done by placing a charging pad with integral coil on the floor where the car is to be parked, and connecting it to the power supply. The alternating magnetic field induces an alternating voltage in the secondary coil fitted in the floor of the car, across the air gap.
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, in conjunction with the electric brake, safely and steadily decelerate the Audi PB18 e-tron even in tough racetrack conditions.
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