The 2018 Audi PB18 E-Tron Wasn’t Meant for Produciton But It’s Going to Happen Anyway

Hold on to whatever it is you’re holding to, folks, because an Audi executive has reportedly confirmed the German automaker’s plan to produce the all-electric PB18 e-tron supercar that we first laid our eyes on at the 2018 Monterey Car Week last August. The mind-blowing electric supercar concept took Monterey by storm, and if reports are true, Audi will build 50 units of the 671-horsepower model. No timetable was mentioned on when we’ll see the production model, but that’s a concern for another time. The important thing is that there’s some momentum within Audi calling for the PB18 e-tron Concept to spawn a production model. That’s more than enough for us to start salivating over what we can expect out of the supercar when that day actually comes.

The 2018 Audi PB18 Shifts Into Production

The 2018 Audi PB18 E-Tron Concept Will Go Into Production After All - The Number to Be Built Will Blow your Mind Exterior
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How’s this for a bombshell, right?

When Audi presented the PB18 e-tron Concept at the 2018 Monterey Car Week, it didn’t say whether it had plans to make a production version out of it.

Naturally, that left a lot of people, us included, to speculate on Audi’s plans for the concept. Was it nothing more than a prototype to showcase the company’s plans for its e-tron lineup of electric cars, or does Audi have something up its sleeve that it wasn’t telling us?

Well, it didn’t take long for Audi Holland CEO Bram Schot to give us an insight into what Audi’s decision makers are thinking. According to Autoweek Netherlands, Schot revealed that the PB18 e-tron Concept car is not only headed for production, but it will come with a production cap of just 50 cars, turning what was already a desirable model into a future electric supercar that can reshape Audi’s hierarchy in the future.

The 2018 Audi PB18 E-Tron Concept Will Go Into Production After All - The Number to Be Built Will Blow your Mind Exterior
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Schot’s revelation opens up a lot of questions about the supposed production model. Is it going to look like the concept? Is it going to have the same powertrain as the concept? How much is it going to cost? Obviously, most of these questions have no answer yet, but we can speculate on what we think is happening within the confines of one one of those boardrooms in Ingolstadt, Germany.

First, let’s look at the design of the concept. We know that Audi has a history of building concept-based production cars that had design similarities with the concept from which they were based on. Most people have probably forgotten this, but the R8 supercar, which Audi introduced in 2006, was based on the Audi Le Mans Quattro Concept that it unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show three years earlier.

It’s entirely possible that Audi could follow a similar path with the PB18 e-tron Concept.

We’re definitely rooting for that to happen given how dramatic the concept’s design looks, especially in the context of Audi’s current design language. The PB18 is a hot piece of concept. If the production model looks anything close to it, you can be sure that it’s going to break the Internet when it arrives.

The 2018 Audi PB18 E-Tron Concept Will Go Into Production After All - The Number to Be Built Will Blow your Mind Exterior
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The PB18 E-Tron’s powertrain is another story entirely. When Audi revealed the concept, it featured a solid-state, 95 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery and three different electric motors — one in the front axle and another two in the rear axle — that produce 201 horsepower each.

Combined, they deliver 604 horsepower, which increases to 671 ponies and 612 pound-feet of torque.

Even better, the concept came with a temporary boost that raised the output to a staggering 764 horsepower, enough to propel the concept from 0 to 62 mph in a little over two seconds. The aforementioned battery could cover 310 miles on a single charge while an 800-volt charging system helps top up the juice in as little as 15 minutes.

Drivetrain 3 Electric Motors
Battery 95 kWh
Static Horsepower 604 HP
Static Torque TBA
Driving Horsepower 671 HP
Driving Torque 612 LB-FT
Under Temp Boost 764 Horsepower
0-to-62 MPH 2 Seconds
Electric Range 300 Miles
Charging System 800 Volts
The 2018 Audi PB18 E-Tron Concept Will Go Into Production After All - The Number to Be Built Will Blow your Mind Exterior
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The numbers are impressive — beyond impressive, actually — but this is where we might need to pump the brakes on the hype a bit. The electric motors are available these days so there’s no reason to question Audi’s claims about the kind of power the PB18 e-tron Concept had.

It’s the solid-state battery that’s giving us cause to pause, largely because the technology, as far as electric vehicles are concerned, is still years away from becoming a real thing.

Panasonic made that point last year when Panasonic North America CEO told The Drive that solid-state batteries and its corresponding applications on EVs are still at least ten years away from happening. That’s not to say that it’s not happening, but it’s going to take some time before we get there. “We’re still pretty bullish on lithium-ion but clearly understand that solid state is something that we all want to get to at some point in the future," Gebhardt added.

The 2018 Audi PB18 E-Tron Concept Will Go Into Production After All - The Number to Be Built Will Blow your Mind
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Regardless, we’re not expecting to see the production version of the PB18 e-tron Concept anytime soon, anyway. Audi has time to piece together the technologies that it could use on the production model if it does make it as far as we hope it will.

Further reading

The 2018 Audi PB18 E-Tron Concept Will Go Into Production After All - The Number to Be Built Will Blow your Mind Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Audi PB18 e-tron Concept.

Source: Autoweek

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