Audi is dead-serious about electric cars and is grabbing every opportunity to show that it intends to lead the EV market from the front. Just ahead of unveiling its E-Tron SUV, the German automaker chose the ongoing automotive festivities at Laguna Seca raceway to debut a unique electric supercar concept called the PB 18. The fascia might be look like a futuristic version of the Audi R8, but just about everything else about the concept’s design is unconventional. “Audi is a race car brand. A brand of dynamism,” president of Audi of America said ahead of the unveiling, and the new electric supercar concept mirrors that spirit.
The most notable feature of the concept is its driving set-up, which includes the driver’s seat, controls and dash cluster. The car adopts a center driving position, something similar to the McLaren F1 when the car is driven sportily. The entire set-up automatically shifts to the left during normal driving conditions. Audi claims the PB18 concept has a mid-mounted 95 kWh battery pack that powers three electric motors, one for the front and two at the back powering the rear wheels individually, and has 670 horsepower and 612 lbft of torque. The car can also temporarily boost power to as much as 764 hp, helping the concept rocket from zero to 62 mph in around two seconds. Audi says the PB 18 has an estimated range of 310 miles on the European WLTP cycle, charged by the same 800-volt charging technology that will feature in the upcoming Porsche Taycan and Aston Martin RapidE. The hatchback layout also maximizes cargo room by allowing 16.6 cubic feet (470 liters) of storage.