We still have to wait another month to see the production version of Audi’s first next-gen all-electric, the e-tron quattro, but the German automaker is still giving us a glimpse at its electric future today.
Audi is unveiling a new all-electric supercar prototype with solid-state batteries, 570 kW power and 800-volt charging system.
It’s the all-electric ‘Audi PB18 e-tron’, which the company presents as “a radical vision for the high-performance sports car of tomorrow.”
The automaker says that the vehicle is built on their years of experience in the Le Mans racing series and it is designed around the driver.
By that, they mean that there’s no autonomous driving system in the vehicle or ‘complex systems for piloted driving’. It is also equipped with a by-wire design for the steering and pedals and it enables a configurable monocoque position in the center of the interior as in a monoposto.
Gael Buzyn, Head of the Audi Design Loft in Malibu, where they designed the vehicle, commented:
“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.”
Here you can see the transition between the two driving modes:
As for the performance specs of the car, Audi went with next-generation everything.
They say that the battery pack is equipped with solid-state batteries and total energy capacity of 95 kWh, which they claim is good enough for 500 kilometers (310.7 miles) in the WLTP cycle.
Audi apparently also borrowed Porsche’s 800-volt battery architecture to enable a 350 kW charging capacity.
As for the motors, there are 3 of them – one up front and two in the rear. The automaker explains:
“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 mobilize up to 570 kW. The combined torque of up to 830 newton meters (612.2 lb-ft) allows acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in scarcely more than 2 seconds – a speed that differs only marginally from that of a current LMP1 prototype.”
The company said earlier this month that the e-tron quattro will also have a similar ‘boost’ mode. In the Audi PB18 e-tron, they claim it would enable a 0-60 mph acceleration in about 2 seconds.
Some of the technology from those concept vehicles eventually trickles down to production models, but Audi is not talking about bringing this actual design to production right now.