This wild concept car is the new Audi PB 18 e-tron concept which debuted today during the 2018 Monterey Car Week and is actually the automaker’s first exhibition of a concept car during the annual festivities.
They’re definitely making it count, as the PB 18 e-tron is an incredible attempt to fuse the world of Audi’s successful Le Mans-winning prototypes to a production car. It features some pretty wild technology including a solid-state battery and a mix of light-weight materials like aluminum and carbon fiber.
In contrast to many of the other concepts and debuts found throughout the industry, Audi claims this is a “Level Zero” on the SAE scale of automated vehicles, basically suggesting that this is an enthusiast-oriented, driver-focused vehicle. It has no heavy technology that assists with driving or comfort, and the driver’s seat can actually be moved to the center of the cockpit.
That’s possible due to the steer and throttle by wire system which allows for the repositioning of the driver’s seat and controls. When the seat is slid all the way to the side, it can allow for a passenger, as there is a three-point seatbelt for safety.
It’s designed to mimic a mid-engined race-car, with the center of gravity located behind the seats and ahead of the rear axle. This is made possible with that solid-state battery, a 95 kWh unit mounted mid-ship, which provides the juice to three electric motors that make a peak power figure of 671 ponies and 612 lb-ft of torque. Being an Audi, all four wheels are powered, and this concept would hit 62 MPH in two seconds.
Apparently, when it’s not driven in anger, the vehicle can travel over three hundred miles and can be charged in fifteen minutes using an 800-volt charging system, much like the Porsche Taycan. It also features wireless charging, which is convenient, if this was indeed a real car.
Being a road-car inspired by racers, it features push-rod suspension up front and pull-rod suspension for the rear wheels, and they are magnetically controlled of course. The 22-inch wheels are wrapped in wide rubber, 275 series up front and 315 in the back, and there are big 19-inch carbon disks to help slow the car down.
It’s a cool car and all, but let’s be serious, it isn’t real… but parts of it are quite possible. That powerplant can definitely be done in a modern vehicle, and we’ve been hearing about solid-state batteries entering the market any time now… it seems closer than ever.
It’s hard not to root for this kind of concept, not only because it’s Audi’s first Pebble Beach debut, but because it reminds enthusiasts that they are still appreciated by the big automakers.
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