2018 Pebble Beach Recap: Electric Domination

SEP 1 2018 BY GARY LIEBER 21

The Electricity Was Not Only in the Air

Every August all eyes turn to Monterey and Pebble Beach Week to celebrate and view the most exquisite automobiles from all over the globe.  Nowhere else on earth can such an excellent collection of cars from every year and marque be seen.

In the last few years, Pebble Beach has also become the favorite place for automakers to show off their latest work in electrified cars.  What started off as a trickle a few years ago has become a torrent of a new EVs, new manufacturers and new technologies.  Clean Fleet Report was there the entire week, and here are the new BEVs and PHEVs we found at Pebble Beach EV Week.

*Editor’s Note: Our thanks go out to Gary Lieber and Clean Fleet Report for sharing this exclusive coverage with our readers. Check out Clean Fleet Report here.

Audi

Audi introduced a new all-electric BEV supercar concept named the Audi PB 18 E-tron, which gives us hints at the next iteration of their current Audi R8 supercar.

Audi E-tron

Audi showed what may be its new electric flagship

The PB-18 presents Audi’s vision of a pure electric supercar that is comfortable on both a city street and on a race track.  The body is a mix of aluminum-carbon and multi-material composites that ensures a lightweight, high-strength structure.  Powered by three electric motors, one driving the front wheels and two in the rear resulting in Quattro mode.  This combination provides up to 612 pound-feet (lb.-ft.) of torque that can provide 0-60 mph times of under 2 seconds, an acceleration that is only slightly slower than Audi’s LMP1 race cars.

Power is supplied by an onboard 95 kWh liquid-cooled solid-state battery that on a full charge gives the car a range of 310 miles.  Charging is compatible with 800-volt DCFC SAE chargers. Fully recharging the PB18 takes only about 15 minutes.

Audi E-tron

The Audi E-tron interior looked ready to race

The interior of the PB-18 is unique in that while it is a two-seat vehicle, the passenger seat folds away, and the driver’s seat, controls, and instruments can be moved to the center of the car, giving the driver command of the vehicle in a race seating arrangement.

Despite its racing capabilities, the PB-18 can act like a two-seat GT with a generous 16.6 cubic feet of cargo space and plenty of range.  If the PB-18 concept makes it into production, look for it in the 2020 timeframe as a replacement for the ICE powered Audi R8 supercar. Expect more news from Audi about its electric vehicle intentions with the September 17th world introduction of the Audi E-tron SUV, Audi’s first pure BEV vehicle.

Bentley

The Bentley Bentayga SUV now has a plug-in hybrid version.  In the last three years, this bespoke SUV has established itself as the pinnacle of luxury in an SUV, and the introduction of the hybrid version keeps in at that forefront.  The Bentayga’s PHEV version powertrain is identical to the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid, which shares its platform with the Bentayga. A V-6 drives the front and rear wheels coupled with a 134-horsepower (hp) electric motor driving the rear wheels providing a total of 455-hp and 516 lb.-ft. of torque. A 14.1 kWh battery gives the Bentayga about 20 miles of pure electric range. Look for the Bentayga E-Hybrid to be available in spring of 2019.

Bentley Bentayga PHEV

Even Bentleys will plug in

Byton

A newcomer to the BEV space, Byton is a well-funded Chinese premium vehicle brand.  With design, R&D and manufacturing facilities in Nanjing, China; Munich, Germany; and Silicon Valley, Byton is aspiring to build the next generation of intelligent electric vehicles.

Byton interior

The Byton EV uses the whole dash as a display

At Pebble Beach, Byton displayed the first two vehicles its pipeline.  The M-Byte, an all-electric SUV, is the furthest along with pre-production test vehicles on public roads in China, the U.S. and Europe.  The M-Byte promises to be a truly connected vehicle with a massive wall-to-wall front screen, Level 3 autonomous services, a 325-mile range and high-speed DCFC charging.

Byton also gave a glimpse of its second vehicle, the K-Byte, a four-door all-electric sedan with a $45,000 price tag.  The K-Byte aims to take Level 4 autonomous services to production reality.  Level 4 is defined as the state where the car can operate without human input or oversight, but only under specific conditions.  Byton has a goal of 2020 for delivery of this BEV.

Both the M-Byte and K-Byte will come in either two-wheel drive with a 71 kWh battery and 272-hp electric motor, or an all-wheel-drive performance model with a 95 kWh battery and dual motors totaling 476 hp.  Expected ranges for the two versions is about 200 and 260 EPA-measured miles.

Genovation

While not a household name, Genovation is a bespoken BEV manufacturer based in Rockville, Maryland. Starting with a C6 Corvette Grand Sport, Genovation removes

Genovation EV Corvette

Putting the electricity into a Corvette body

the ICE motor and replaces it with dual electric motors coupled to either a seven-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic and rebrands the car as the Genovation GXE.  With a 65 kWh battery good for 175 miles, the GXE has 800 hp, 700 lb.-ft. of torque, available from zero to redline for a top speed of 220 mph.  The body is massaged aerodynamically with a new front and rear fascia, and well as underbody smoothing.  The GXE is a real hairy-chested supercar in the American tradition, but 100 percent electric.  A first-generation version of the GXE currently holds the world record for the top speed in an electric vehicle of 209 mph.

Jaguar

Jaguar recently introduced the I-Pace all-electric SUV with first deliveries coming up in the 4th quarter of 2018.  It’s a very promising vehicle and the first of many BEV SUVs expected in the next two years.

At the 2018 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Jaguar took a bone stock I-Pace onto the WeatherTech Laguna Seca racetrack and promptly set a new lap record for a stock production electric vehicle of 1:48:18. A Tesla Roadster established the previous BEV Laguna Seca record of 1:49:02, and a Model 3 turned in the fastest lap for a BEV sedan of 1:57:50.

2019 Jaguar I-Pace

Jaguar’s setting records and preparing to deliver

Racing BEVs has been problematic for early Teslas with the cars going into limp mode because of overheating after a few laps, but the I-Pace ran into none of those issues.  The I-Pace may be a turning point for BEVs, where battery overheating during performance track driving becomes much less of a concern.

Expect to see this record challenged as more and more BEVs become available with performance packages.

Jaguar also displayed their E-type Roadster electric conversion that will now be available from Jaguar Land Rover Classic Work. Rimac, a manufacturer of bespoke electric supercars, provides the propulsion and battery system.  Two options are available, either a wholly re-manufactured E-type with the electric conversion or, for current owners of 1961 through 1975 E-Type Jags, a convertion to electric propulsion.

The conversion replaces the six-cylinder E-type ICE with a 295-hp electric motor powered by a 40 kWh battery, providing a range of about 170 miles.  The battery, motor and electronics conversion fit where the original engine and gearbox were and makes the E-Type about 100 pounds lighter.

Mercedes-Benz

MB unveiled a concept show car at Pebble Beach, the EQ Silver Arrow.  The single-seat EQ Silver Arrow pays homage to the successful record-breaking W-125 Mercedes land speed record car from 1937.  That car set the public road land speed record of 268.9 mph in 1937 on the A5 autobahn, a record that stood until 2017.  While this car will probably never see production, it is raising attention to Mercedes’ launch of its new BEV brand EQ on September 4th.  Mercedes will announce its first fully electric SUV, the EQC.  Expect this SUV to be equipped with a 400 hp electric motor system and a 70 kWh battery that will provide 0-60 MPH in under five seconds and have an estimated 310-mile range.

Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow

Another Arrow in Mercedes’ quiver

Polestar

A new electric performance brand from Volvo Car Group, Polestar, made its North American Debut at Pebble Beach.  Its first vehicle, the Polestar 1, is a low-volume electric performance plug-in hybrid GT.  Based on the Volvo S60 T8’s supercharged/turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with inline electric motor, the Polestar 1 adds two rear axle electric motors and a 34 kWh battery that gives 65 EPA-measured miles of pure electric range and a total of 600 hp and 738 lb.-ft. of torque.  The body of the Polestar 1 is a combination of carbon fiber and aluminum.  Polestar will produce only 1,500 Polestar 1s, with only 500 of them coming to the US.  The Polestar 1 will sell for $150,000 (200 are already reserved) with deliveries starting spring 2019. The next two Polestar vehicles on the drawing boards will be full battery electric vehicles with more mainstream pricing.

Volvo Polestar 1

Volvo’s Polestar performance electric comes to the U.S.

Porsche

The Porsche Taycan, previously known as the Mission E, made its North American debut at Pebble Beach.  Porsche North America has started taking deposits for the four-door pure electric GT for delivery beginning in 2019.  The dual-motor BEV is expected to have 600 hp and about 310 EPA miles of range.  The Taycan has a modest (for BEV supercar standards) 0-60 mph acceleration of 3.5 seconds and 0-120 mph in 12 seconds.  It features an 800-volt charging system that will add 250 miles of range in just 15 minutes. The Taycan is now in pilot production testing with over 100 vehicles worldwide.

Porsche Taycan

Porsche gets serious about EVs

Rimac Automobili

Croatian BEV manufacturer Rimac sits at the top tiers in the rarified world of bespoke hyper-EVs.  It also is one of the leading BEV engineering firms with a client roster reading like the who’s who of the BEV world.  Rimac is an engineering partner to the likes of Aston Martin, Jaguar, Renault, Koenigsegg, Seat, Siemens and Brembo.  Recently, Porsche/VW took a 10 percent ownership in Rimac, mainly for its BEV engineering expertise.

Rimac

You can have the first or last one available

At Pebble Beach, Rimac announced its third Hyper-EV, the California Edition Rimac C_Two.  The C_Two has four electric motors, one each driving the wheels and delivering 1,888 hp and 1,700 lb.-ft. of torque, giving it that ability to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 1.85 seconds with a top speed of 258 mph.  With its 120 kWh battery, it’s good for 404 miles on a single charge if driven at the posted speed limits.  Of course, the Rimac C_Two has all the latest ADAS and will be Level 4 autonomous capable.  If this is the kind of car you are looking for, you better act fast, as only two examples are available, each costing north of $2 million.

Volkswagen

At Pebble Beach, Volkswagen showed off its next Atlas CUV, the Atlas Cross Sport.  Based on The Volkswagen MQB architecture that has given us everything from the Golf and Tiguan to the three-row Atlas.  The Atlas Cross Sport will be VWs first four-door PHEV/HEV crossover, borrowing the GTE PHEV technology from the Golf, but mating it with a 3.6-liter V6 FSI powerplant along with front and rear electric motors.  The gas motor is good for 276 hp and 258 lb.-ft. of torque, combined with the front electric motor producing 53 hp/162 lb.-ft. of torque and the rear making 113 hp/199 lb.-ft. of torque, plus a six-speed DSG transmission and all-wheel drive.  While the drivetrain is the same for the PHEV and the HEV, the PHEV adds an 18 kWh battery good for about 26 miles of electric-only driving, while the HEV version has only a 2 kWh battery good for just about 1.5 miles of range.  Like the Golf GTE, there is a variety of driving modes. including performance, which utilizes the maximum power of all of the motors to produce a 0-60 mph at about five seconds.  An “off-road” mode is also available.

Volkswagen Cross Sport

VW plugs in the Atlas

The Cross Sport has an impressive looking interior that is entirely digital.  It will have all of the latest ADAS features combined with the innovative GTE technology. Built at VW’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant, the Cross Sport will join the eight-passenger Atlas.   Look for it in 2019.

Surely next year’s show will be even more electrifying!

Categories: Audi, Byton, Concepts, Jaguar, Mercedes, Porsche, Volkswagen

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21 Comments on "2018 Pebble Beach Recap: Electric Domination"

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Tom

All so pathetic, every unit sold will lose money for the next 3 years at least.

John

Super exciting stuff!! Can’t wait for the future, LOVE seeing all the different EV’s from different manufacturers, and pushing the envelope. It’s amazing to see how high the performance ceiling can go when all the manufacturers take the EV gloves off.

Tesla4theWin

Most of these are vaporware… and seriously you talk about Teslas going into “limp mode” when bragging about the iPace.. with no mention that the S or X weren’t made for the track but the Model 3 Performance will blow away the iPace PRO DRIVER time as soon as any amateur tries Laguna.

Dav8or

What has your rant got to do with this article?

Tesla4theWin

Did you not read the writer’s section about the iPace, making sure he talks about Tesla limp mode?

Nono13

People like you are mainly why I have a problem with Tesla. And for once it’s not Elon’s fault.

John

That’s your problem- you let extremists dictate your opinion about a product. Ignore the extremists, drive the car, form your own opinion.

Nono13

But I don’t dislike Tesla cars. Specially the Model 3 which I think even some Tesla fanboys failed to see how great a step forward it represents. I simply acknowledge their qualities but also their defaults. It’s just what is around the brand that annoys me : “fanboyism”, Elon tweets and communication, systematic vaporware comments on EV competition. The cars are not the problem.

BTW I can assure you that nobody dictates my opinion. But I can be annoyed.

Brian

People that is the term fanboy annoy me.

Nono13

Not the same sense here. That people failed to see how great the improvements of the Model 3 are is totally normal. It’s very common in a lot of cases, especially when technology is involved.

John

Agreed. It’s not the labeling that annoys me as much as it’s overuse.

antrik

I agree that the article presenting the I-Pace as some kind of saviour, when Tesla’s own Model 3 already mostly solves the “limp mode” problem, is kinda annoying… No need to get all indignant about it, though.

Also, your “vapourware” remark is completely off. Eight out of the ten models are already available, will be available soonish, or at least have a very solid chance of becoming available in the foreseeable future. The other two are concept cars, so kinda vapourware by definition — and perfectly par for the course at this event. Your point?…

George Bower

I Pace= good!
Waiting for David Greens report from his drive this weekend.

Porsche Taycan = good.

We modeled this car in our performance computer model and I think Porsche is under selling its specs. Looks to us like Taycan can equal P100D in acceleration and range. Great charging. Porsche has some very good engineers I wouldn’t sell them short.

Plus I think we have some new evidence that Porsche has some tricks up their sleeve that will drastically improve their TMS system.

Stay tuned.

Nono13

I read many times that Porsche always undersells its 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) specs.

On the other hand for the range I don’t expect so great results. As the numbers given are the same as the ones given 2 to 3 years ago under the completely cheated NEDC cycle. And now there is never a cycle mentioned next to the range. But nevertheless the range won’t be bad and I will gladly accept that I am wrong.

Brian

Porsche is known for sandbagging models that aren’t 911. They could easily make the Taycan outperform a base 911 for the same cost but won’t in my opinion.

eject

The important thing is that the Porsche will still achieve its specs at low levels of charge. What is the point if you only have top notch performance above 80% when you normally are below that level of charge.

Tesla4theWin

Why continue to compare the Taycan and iPace with the Model S or X when the real comparison is the Model 3 Performance which does not have track or cooling issues?

eject

How have I compared it to any specific make or model? I just pointed out that a Porsche EV should be able to deliver on its specs even when the battery isn’t full. What is the point about bragging a 0-62mph time of sub 3.5s if it comes with the caveat of a freshly charged car. Clearly a performance car should still deliver at a low SOC.

Speculawyer

Honestly, at this point the idea of a non-electric “luxury” car seems silly. If you really want “luxury”, you want a car that is completely quiet, does not have a lurching transmission, spews no toxic poisonous gas, has no engine vibration, and can be refueled at home.

That’s an electric car.

steve keyes

Genovation range is stated incorrectly as 130 miles. Actual range is175 miles

Thank you!