Audi’s PB18 e-tron supercar designed around ideal driver’s position in the centre

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 centre. 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.Says Gael Buzyn, Head of the Audi Design Loft in Malibu. 

Audi PB18 e-tron

The PB18 e-tron is Audi’s idea of a “high-performance sports car of tomorrow” with the wide low body was designed by the company’s design studio in Malibu, California. “PB18 e-tron” refers both to the Pebble Beach venue for the premiere and to the technological DNA it shares with the successful LMP1 racing car Audi R18 e-tron. As per, it is a Le Man prototype with an electric future.

Audi PB18 e-tron Super car

Please visit my Flickr album for downloading all the pictures of PB18 e-tron

Some of the features of PB18 e-tron concept car which I thought are way ahead of existing automotive technology compiled below based on various sources.

  • The PB18 is 174 inches long, 55.2 inches tall, and its wheelbase is 106.8 inches long.
  • Incorporates adjustable aerodynamics into the rear of the car where the rear diffuser is mounted high but can be moved down to increase downforce and the rear spoiler can be extended rearward to do the same.
  • Once seated, the driver, dash cluster, steering wheel, and pedals automatically move towards the centre of the car. Single occupant layout which can slide to side or centre which is very well suited for driving on the race track.
  • It uses the “drive by wire” system. Steering, acceleration and braking are controlled by computers instead of mechanical components. Drive by wire, DBW, by-wire, Steer-by-wire, or x-by-wire is the next generation steering technology in the automotive industry is the use of electrical or electro-mechanical systems for performing vehicle functions traditionally achieved by mechanical linkages.
    more details about ” drive by wire ” can be seen at one of my Quora answers – Click here

  • Uses 95Kwh solid state battery pack.  The solid-state battery is a battery technology that uses both solid electrodes and solid electrolytes, instead of the liquid or polymer electrolytes found in Lithium-ion or Lithium polymer batteries.  technology is considered an alternative to classic Li-ion battery technology, which is believed to be near its full potential. Audi claims to have the range is 311 miles ( 500km ) on a single charge which is a decent range.
  • The body is made of the mix of carbon fibre and aluminium to ensure a light weight of 3417 pounds which is around 1550kgs. Placement of its battery helps put the centre of gravity between the seats and the rear axle for excellent balance.
  • Its powertrain includes two additional motors are located in the rear that can deliver 603 hp (449.65 kW), each directly driving one wheel. The front motor is good for 200 horsepower ( 149kw ), Total system output is 671 hp (500kw), though the system can be boosted to 764 hp ( 570kw )  for sudden speed requirement.
  • Total torque is 612 pound-feet which is around 830 Nm. Audi says the PB18 e-tron can accelerate from 0-62 mph ( 0- 100kmph ) in just over 2.0 seconds, about the same as the R18 prototype.
  • There is a choice for the driver to choose a maximum range to maximum power based on his ride requirement.
  • The car can take 800V charging and charges within 15min. It also has a wireless inductive charging feature.
  • It has movable Monocoque where chassis is integrated with the body.
  • It borrows its magnetic suspension technology from the R18 E-Tron Quattro Le Mans car. Magnetic suspension technology is a type of suspension system where the shock absorbers react to the road and adjust much faster than conventional shock absorbers.

Sharing the youtube link which I thought will be useful to visualize – Click here

Just to give a quick introduction to R18, the Audi R18 is a Le Mans Prototype (LMP) racing car constructed by the German car manufacturer Audi AG. It is the successor to the Audi R15 TDI. Like its predecessor, the R18 uses a TDI turbocharged diesel engine but with a reduced capacity of 3.7 litres and in a V6 configuration. For the first time since the 1999 R8C, Audi’s Le Mans prototype uses a closed cockpit design. The R18 is also the first racing car from Audi to feature hybrid power.

Does Audi go to mass produce this supercar? 

In my view, the solid-state battery technology is still in development stage and maturity of this technology would be the key for producing this supercar. In terms of the drive technology is not specified but perhaps may use Brushless DC Motor drive to keep high power density which will increase the system efficiency compared to Induction motor drive. Despite the fact of PB18 e-tron model will come to showrooms or not, the key thing to be noted is the vision of Audi to innovate a high technology super sports car with a lot of flexibility inside car cabin, driving direction and the best performance.

This article is not to promote any specific products but to share my thoughts about the technologies involved and especially to promote electric vehicles which I still believe that the future of the automotive industry will be electric. 

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Note: The article is totally my own thoughts and not necessarily anyone needs to agree with my thoughts and ideas. Pictures and Video downloaded from official Audi website.