THE AUDI PB18 E-TRON CONCEPT IS AN R8 SHOOTING BRAKE FROM THE FUTURE

THE AUDI PB18 E-TRON CONCEPT IS AN R8 SHOOTING BRAKE FROM THE FUTURE

With overboost, it makes 764 hp

Back in July, Audi released a teaser previewing a concept called the PB18 that it planned to reveal during this month's Monterey Car Week. The shadowy image didn't show much more than the car's headlights, making it difficult to figure out what we were looking at. But now that the car's been officially revealed, we have to say, it looks completely different than we could ever have guessed.

The front of the PB18 is incredibly aggressive, with sharp, angular bodywork, slim headlights, and a hollowed-out grille that takes the Jaguar I-Pace's aero-optimizing front end to the extreme. Yet somehow, it's also the most predictable part of the PB18's design. If Audi announced that's what the next-generation R8 will look like up front, it wouldn't be all that shocking. Once you get past the A-pillars, though, the PB18's design gets a lot more controversial.

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The proportions appear to be inspired by other mid-engine supercars, but the car itself is more of a shooting brake. Audi claims the PB18's long-roof design gives it 16.6 cubic feet of cargo space, something you don't usually get in conventional supercars. And while it's hard to judge size based on these renderings, at 178 inches long, 79 inches wide, and 45 inches tall, the PB18 is several inches longer, wider, and lower than the current R8. It also rides on 22-inch wheels, and Audi claims the adjustable diffuser and rear spoiler work together to give the car active aero.

In theory, an electric shooting brake based on a future R8 should be incredibly cool. But for some reason, the PB18 looks more like a movie prop from a reboot of Minority Report than we would have hoped. It may look better in person, of course, but until we see it, we can't say for sure. That also doesn't mean Audi didn't come up with some cool (although possibly theoretical) features for the PB18.

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With three electric motors driving all four wheels, the PB18 makes 670 hp and 612 lb-ft of torque. An overboost mode temporarily increases that to 764 hp, giving the PB18 a claimed 0-60 time of about two seconds and making it about as quick as a modern LMP1 prototype. Power for the motors comes from a 95-kWh solid-state battery that promises a maximum range of more than 300 miles on Europe's WLTP cycle. And thanks to its 800-volt charging capability, Audi says the PB18 can be fully charged in about 15 minutes. For maximum on-track performance, the suspension is also derived from Audi's R18 Le Mans car.

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