Audi is teasing a new supercar concept with a sleek silhouette and an electric driveline. It's called the PB18 e-tron, which according to the automaker stands for the location and year of its reveal. In this case, the place is not peanut butter (admit it, you were thinking that) but Pebble Beach, with the 18 obviously standing for 2018. To be even more specific, Audi plans to reveal this new concept on August 23 at Laguna Seca.
Let's hope the car is a bit more imaginative than the name, because that's not exactly an inspiring story to back up our first taste of this new machine. The photo shows something rather sleek and very low, with just a hint of the rear wing visible on each side of the roof. Aside from telling us the backstory of the car's name, Audi says this new concept recalls the R18 e-tron LMP racer, which won Le Mans with its hybrid powertrain layout. Additionally, the LMPs technology was an inspiration for finding "solutions for various details" on this new concept car.
Speaking of vague descriptions, Audi also says the PB18 is a "design study for a puristic sports car of the future." We're taking that to mean the automaker is seeking to tug at the heartstrings of driving enthusiasts, many of whom see electric cars as silent, shiftless conveyances that offer no sort of passion for folks behind the wheel. Audi even goes so far as to say "emotion instead of emissions," which is actually a pretty bold claim to make for an electric car. Not that such machines can't be exciting with massive power and instant torque, but emotion is a very sensitive word for motoring enthusiasts – one that usually involves noise and interaction as much as style and performance. The last two are easily obtainable in an all-electric vehicle. It will be very interesting to see how close Audi can get to the first two with this new concept.
Following the PB-18 e-tron's reveal at Laguna Seca, the concept car will grace The Quail on August 24 and return to Laguna Seca August 25 for an encore.