On a recent trip to Germany, Supercar Blondie met up with Audi to see the upcoming Audi electric supercar, the Audi AI: Race. (The vehicle has also been called the PB-18 etron.)
The high-performance supercar came out of the Audi Design Loft in Malibu, CA. It wasn’t intended to be used in competitive professional racing, but it can be driven on a racetrack to give a driver a taste of the racing experience.
Probably the most striking aspect of the EV from the perspective of driving is the sliding seat and steering console that moves laterally so the driver can sit in the center of the cockpit. Electronic devices can position the driver’s seat and controls on the left side of the vehicle or center, depending on the driver’s choice. The center position provides a better view of the road or race track. Another feature related to the driver’s enhanced vision is a small forward window near the steering wheel in the driver’s line of sight, which provides a view of the road ahead to anticipate turns.
Another intriguing feature is cordless charging, which Audi says is possible using the method of induction, “This is done by placing a charging pad with integral coil on the floor where the car is to be parked, and connecting it to the power supply. The alternating magnetic field induces an alternating voltage in the secondary coil fitted in the floor of the car, across the air gap.”
Some tech specs:
3 electric motors producing 500 kw
95 kWh battery
830 Newton-meters of torque
500 km (310 miles) range, WLTP
800-volt charging, with a 15-minute recharge time.
The 0 to 62 mph | 0 to 100 km/h time is about two seconds, with a top speed reported to be around 186 miles | 299 km per hour.
About 50 of these unique all-electric vehicles are expected to be produced.
What makes this vehicle a supercar? The most obvious answer is the very rapid acceleration and top speed. Supercars like the McClarens, Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Bugattis compete for speed. The companies that manufacture them also like to display their engineering prowess and innovation. Another competitive focal point is design — the most exciting and aesthetic vehicles attract attention, so they can boost and maintain brands.
Additionally, supercars are good for taking to car shows, and generating press and online clicks. They also have appeared in movies and TV shows.
Electric supercars draw attention to the fact that EVs are not wimpy or only for people who care about the environment.