Audi has just pulled the wraps off the PB18 Supercar concept at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and we have been blown away completely! The fully-electric supercar according to Audi blends the elements of a race-car, a hot hatch and has been internally nicknamed “Level Zero” because it puts the driver in complete control. Setting the PB18 apart from most of the recent electric concepts that we have seen so far is by having absolutely no semi-autonomous equipment onboard, despite featuring a smorgasbord of tech to keep the power delivery and dynamics in check.
From the front, the PB18 has the makings of a sports coupe more than a supercar. Look a little closer and you’ll see a futuristic Audi R8 stemming from the massive trapezoidal grille flanked by R8-esque inlets on either side. However, when you move to profile what you see is what you might get if Lamborghini tried building a three-door hatchback. The roofline itself seems to be a design trick, with a flat roof flowing into a swept-back windshield. The rear tail-lamps that span the entire breadth of the PB18 ties the rear end design together. It may not be outright attractive but it sure will grab eyeballs, which is pretty much the recipe of most modern supercars.
The PB18 uses three electric motors, one to power the front axles that make 201 hp, while the remaining two power each rear wheel individually and produce an additional output of 604 hp! However, the output will not be a summation of the three, but will still add to an effective total of 671 hp and perhaps more importantly 830 Nm of torque with a temporary boost to 764 hp possible when required, something along the lines of Tesla’s ‘Ludicrous’ mode. What do all this power and instantaneous torque mean for PB18? It ensures that the super-hatch reaches 100 kmph just above the 2-second mark.
Audi envisions a futuristic solid-state battery with a 95-kilowatt-hour capacity, which would allow for an estimated range of over 500 kilometres, and even foresees an 800-volt charging system would top up the battery in just 15 minutes, most likely wirelessly. Although this almost goes without saying in modern supercars, regenerative braking will also be included.
What’s most fascinating about the level zero super hatch is the interiors though. The cabin can convert between single passenger and two-person layout. This allows the driver a Mclaren F1 style centre seat when driving alone if needed. Isn’t that insanely cool?! A heads-up display on the windscreen displays relevant information but can even go into full video game mode with ideal racing lines generated for track use. For everyday practicality, the PB18 can slide the driver and the instruments over to the side allowing for passenger ingress. And all this in a practical hatch with a 470-litre boot space!
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