A few weeks before the recent unveiling of the e-tron SUV—the all-electric sport-utility vehicle the company has clearly put enormous time and effort into designing—Audi laid the groundwork for its e-tron vehicles by revealing this daring concept car at Monterey at the end August.
‘e-tron’ appears to be both model and division, and Audi is flanking the production SUV with a pair of concepts to keep the journalistic exposure high. Next month, the company will reveal a performance coupe EV, the GT, slated for an official debut in 2020; that model has industry pundits more than a little curious, because they had a chance to see this shooting brake in Monterey, which could emerge as a bona-fide e-tron model in the near future.
The model is provisionally called the PB18. The car’s launch speed looks to be thrilling—Audi says it will hit 62 in a little more than two seconds—and the range is a respectable 310 miles in its current form. But what makes the model unique is its transitioning cockpit design, which centers the driving carriage in track mode.
As the name might suggest, the PB18’s DNA comes from the R18 track car. The curb weight of the vehicle is just 3,400 pounds, with lots of aluminum and carbon fiber keeping its power-to-weight ratio high.
Audi hasn’t cleared the PB18 for production just yet, but the e-tron SUV is expected to be available mid-2019.