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PB18 e-tron
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  Audi PB18 e-tron
 

  Article Image gallery (26) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Germany
Produced in:2018
Source:Company press release
Last updated:August 24, 2018
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Click here to download printer friendly versionFor 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. Its concept and exciting lines were created in the new Audi design studio in Malibu, California - where the brand's design is consistently being updated for the future. The technical concept of the PB18 e-tron has benefitted from Audi's many years of winning the Le Mans racing series. The experts at Audi Sport GmbH, the high-performance subsidiary of Audi, were responsible for implementation. The abbreviated name "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.

At first sight, the Audi PB18 e-tron shows its kinship with another spectacular concept car from the brand - the Audi Aicon from 2017. This holds true not only for characteristic design elements like the side windows that angle inwards and the extremely extended wheel arches. The two concept cars from 2017 and 2018 also share their electric drive with solid-state battery as energy storage.

But their respective, consistently focused concepts for use make them polar opposites. While the Aicon was designed as a fully automated, long-distance luxury vehicle - a business jet for the road - the creators of the PB18 e-tron designed it as a radical driving machine for the racetrack and road. Dynamics and emotion top its list of specifications. Parameters like propulsive power, lateral acceleration and perfect ergonomics determine each detail. And driver-orientation is in a completely new dimension.

The internal working title at Audi for the showcar project was "Level Zero" - as an explicit way to differentiate it from the Levels 3, 4 and 5 of autonomous driving currently in focus at Audi. In the Audi PB18 e-tron, the driver is the one steering and stepping on the gas or brake pedal. There are therefore no complex systems for piloted driving on board and no comfort features to add weight. In their place are a driver's seat and cockpit that are integrated into an inner monocoque shell that can be slid laterally. When driven solo, the monocoque can be positioned in the center of the interior as in a monoposto - the perfect location for the racetrack. This is made possible not least by the by-wire design of the steering and pedals; a mechanical connection of the control elements is not needed.

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."

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.

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  Article Image gallery (26) Specifications