Pebble Beach concept mulled as next-generation electric performance halo.
The Audi PB 18 e-tron concept scheduled to be revealed later this month could be a preview for the company’s next-generation electric supercar, according to a new report.
Industry journal Automotive News claims the PB 18 could “signal plans” to re-introduce an e-tron version of the R8 supercar, or “replace it altogether”.
Audi says the PB 18 e-tron will feature styling inspired by its R18 Le Mans hybrid race car, though we can’t see much other than its low-slung proportions and distinctive LED daytime-running lights in the single teaser image that was released last week.
We do reckon, though, that the Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo shown earlier this year could provide some design clues.
While it’s no secret Audi is considering an all-electric performance flagship, it’s not clear at this stage what form such a vehicle would take.
Previously, the four-ringed marque has offered the all-electric R8 e-tron (above), though slow sales, high costs, and technical challenges have forced Audi to cull the electric supercar after short production runs in both generations.
The second-generation R8 e-tron was axed in 2016 despite “fewer than 100” examples being built. Power came from two electric motors on the rear axle making a combined 340kW of power and 900Nm of torque – 0-100 took a claimed 3.9 seconds and range was rated at around 450km per charge from its 92kWh battery.
It was only ever available in Europe, and pricing was said to start at the €1 million ($1.56 million) mark, or six times more than the ‘standard’ V10 powered version.
Speaking with Car and Driver at the Formula E event in Berlin in June, Audis’s development boss, Peter Mertens, hinted that the company’s next-generation of performance vehicles could include an all-electric model.
“You can very well imagine that at some point we will have an electric supercar,” he told the publication.
“The question is, ‘Would I like to make it happen sooner?’ and the answer is, ‘Yes, of course.’ It is part of our plan.”
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for our coverage of the Audi PB 18 e-tron’s reveal on August 23.