German automaker Audi is not messing around with its latest concept car, the PB 18 E-Tron. For all intents and purposes, this nifty (and futuristic) looking vehicle is an electric hypercar (or supercar, if you prefer the term) with copious horsepower and torque for plenty of get up and go, never mind that it's rocking a battery operated drive system.
The PB 18 E-Tron features three electric motors, one up front and two more in the rear. Those latter two are centrally located between the steering knuckles, each driving one wheel via half-shafts. They combine to deliver 600 horsepower to all four wheels. Or in terms of electric power, they deliver 150 kW to the front axle and 450 kW to the rear, making it a true quattro.
Maximum output is 500 kW. With boosting, though, the driver can temporarily crank things up to 570 kW. This results in a combined torque of up to 612.2 pound per foot. What this all boils down to is a 0-60 miles per hour acceleration time of "scarcely more than 2 seconds." Yeah, it's like that.
That's far more than what is needed on the local roads and long distance driving, of course, and Audi says the driver can limit the maximum speed in favor of range. "This limitation is easy to deactivate on the racetrack and can be adapted to local conditions," the automaker says.
"The focus is on not just powerful performance but also maximum efficiency. While being driven, the Audi PB 18 E-Tron is designed to recover large amounts of energy: up to moderate braking, the electric motors are solely responsible for decelerating the vehicle. The hydraulic brakes only come into play for heavy braking," Audi added.
Audi also said the concept of using separate electric motors on the rear axle benefits drivers by delivering sporty handling. This works in conjunction with a torque control manager, which itself works together with the electronic stabilizer control to actively distribute power to the wheels of the front and rear axles, as needed.
Powering all this is a liquid cooled battery with a 95 kWh energy capacity. Fully charged, the PB 18 E-Tron can motor along for 310 miles and change. Also, Audi designed the PB 18 E-Tron for charging with a voltage of 800 volts. What that means for drivers is short waits between charges—it only takes about 15 minutes to fully charge the concept car, Audi claims. It can also be charged cordlessly via induction.
There's no word on when Audi will bring this concept to market or how much it will cost.