Speaking with Autocar at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Audi exterior design chief Andreas Mindt revealed that the car’s design team are pushing for it to to hit the market. However, fulfilling the designers’ wishes won’t be easy for the German automaker.
Immediately distinguishing the PB18 from other bold concept cars to come before it is the central driving position. Developing a car with such a set-up would be extremely costly for Audi, particularly since production of the vehicle would be extremely limited. Additionally, it would be virtually impossible for Audi to commercialize an interior where the driver’s seat seamlessly shifts from the left-side of the vehicle to the center as it did in the concept.
This wouldn’t be the only challenge. In addition, Mindt said that engineers would have to develop adequate cooling systems for the powerful all-electric powertrain. The concept utilized three electric motors. One of these was mounted within the front axle and delivered 201 hp, while two were found on either side of the rear axle, producing 234 hp each, and resulting in a total of 671 hp. A boost function was also developed for the car, with output increasing to 764 hp for short bursts of acceleration.
In concept guise, Audi asserted that this set-up would allow for a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of roughly two seconds while sending the supercar to a top speed exceeding 186 mph (300 km/h).
In addition to these challenges, there is the simple fact that the PB18 e-tron was envisioned to use solid-state batteries with a capacity of 95 kWh. While such a battery pack will eventually be available in the future, the technology is not yet ready for production.
Then again, maybe Audi could adopt the exterior styling, albeit a bit toned down, with a more conventional interior and the electric powertrain of, say, the e-tron GT that’s good for 590 PS (582 HP), though we guess even this option is not on the table.