The Audi PB18 e-tron Concept combines inspiration from the Audi R18 e-tron LMP1 racing car with propulsion from an all-electric powertrain.
The Audi PB18 e-tron has a liquid-cooled solid-state battery with an energy capacity of 95 kWh. A full charge provides a range of over 310 miles in the WLTP cycle. The Audi PB18 e-tron is already designed for charging with a voltage of 800 volts. 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.
The car has three powerful electric motors – one up front, and two in the rear which directly drive one wheel via half-shafts. They deliver up to 150 kW of power to the front axle and 350 kW to the rear.
Maximum output is 500 kW, but with boosting the driver can temporarily mobilise up to 570 kW. The combined torque of up to 830 Nm (612.2 lb-ft) allows acceleration from 0 to 62mph in scarcely more than 2 seconds – a speed that differs only marginally from that of a current LMP1 prototype.
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 concept of separate electric motors on the rear axle offers major advantages when it comes to handling. The Torque Control Manager, which works together with the Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC), actively distributes the power to the wheels of the front and rear axles as needed. This torque control provides for maximum dynamics and stability.
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 (3,417.2 lb) can be expected.
The R8 e-tron was unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show and in 2012 set a record lap time for an electric car on the North Loop of the Nürburgring.
Audi added a first plug-in hybrid to its range in 2014 in the guise of the 150 kW (204PS) A3 e-tron – its battery units can be recharged by recuperation and cable, and give it an all-electric range of up to 50 kilometres in the NEDC.
The Q7 e-tron made its debut in 2016: It is powered by a 3.0 TDI engine combined with an electric motor, with a combined 275 kW (373PS) and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque. It accelerates from a standing start to 62mph in 6.2 seconds and in all-electric mode it has a range of up to 34 miles. It is also the world’s first plug-in hybrid with a V6 compression ignition engine and quattro drive.
Another concept car unveiled by Audi in 2015 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, was the e-tron quattro concept – the forerunner of the brand’s first all-electric-drive production car. As a radically reconfigured SUV it offers a range of more than 248 miles in the WLTP cycle. The production version of the Audi e-tron will debut in September 2018.