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Audi to present PB18 e-tron concept car

The PB18 e-tron has a 500 km range on a full charge

Audi will present a design and technical concept car at Pebble Beach Automotive Week in Monterey, California, which will start on August 26.

The all-electric Audi PB18 e-tron presents a radical vision for the high-performance sports car of tomorrow.

The Audi PB18 e-tron shares its electric drive and solid-state battery as energy storage with the Audi Aicon, an Audi concept car from 2017.

“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,” said head of the Audi Design Loft in Malibu Gael Buzyn

When the driver’s monocoque is slid into the side position, from where the PB18 e-tron can be steered in everyday driving like a conventional road vehicle, there is room for a passenger.

An additional seat can be accessed on the other side, integrated low above the ground and equipped with a three-point seatbelt. The driver also benefits when getting in and out from the easily accessible outside position of the monocoque, which can be moved when the door is open up to the sill.

A mix of aluminium, 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 can be expected.

The concept uses three powerful electric motors – one up front and two in the rear. The latter are centrally located between the steering knuckles, each directly driving one wheel via half-shafts.

They deliver power output of up to 150 kW to the front axle and 350 kW to the rear – the Audi PB18 e-tron is a true quattro, of course. Maximum output is 500 kW, with boosting, the driver can temporarily mobilise up to 570 kW.

The combined torque of up to 830 newton metres allows acceleration from 0 to 100 kmph (62.1 mph) in scarcely more than two seconds – a speed that differs only marginally from that of a current LMP1 prototype.

In normal road traffic, the driver can limit the maximum speed in favour 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 liquid-cooled solid-state battery has an energy capacity of 95 kWh. A full charge provides for a range of over 500 km (310.7 miles) in the WLTP cycle. The Audi PB18 e-tron is already designed for charging with a voltage of 800 V. This means the battery can be fully recharged in about 15 minutes.

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.

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