The R8 E-Tron was a commercial flop, but Audi isn't giving up on electric supercars.
We all know what happened to the R8 E-Tron, an electric supercar that had an extremely short life cycle during which less than 100 were ever made at more than $1 million a pop. Audi Sport is not giving up on the idea of doing a high-performance EVs as the talented squad from Ingolstadt keeps saying an electric supercar is being considered, quite possibly with solid-state batteries.
Even if approved, it probably won’t be launched in the years to come, but the PB18 E-Tron concept unveiled this week at Pebble Beach might provide us with a vague idea of what to expect from the R8 E-Tron’s spiritual successor. The radically styled low-slung shooting brake uses solid-state batteries and adopts a modular cabin with a sliding driver’s seat to make room for a passenger.
Besides featuring a spectacular design inside and out, the PB18 E-Tron manages to impress for another reason – performance. At least on paper, the fully electric supercar jumps to 62 mph (100 kph) in a little over two seconds thanks to a maximum output of 671 horsepower (500 kilowatts) and an instant torque of 612 pound-feet (830 Newton-meters).
Range anxiety is still a concern in today’s EV world, but it’s not an issue with Audi’s Pebble Beach 2018 showcar since the 95-kWh liquid-cooled solid-state battery has enough juice for more than 311 miles (500 km) in the realistic WLTP cycle. Not only that, but once you run out of energy, it’ll take just 15 minutes to fully recharge the battery pack.
The PB18 E-Tron is a concept at this stage with no word about a possible production model, but it goes to show performance EVs have a future and sooner or later we’ll actually be able to buy these – hopefully without having to pay $1 million…