What's the news?
Audi has become the latest car maker to eschew the traditional motor show format and instead launch a major new concept car at a classic motoring event. In this case, it's the Pebble Beach Car Week - a series of events held at and around the famous Californian golf course, culminating in the prestigious Concours D'Elegance, which has become the preserve of some of the most valuable and famous classic cars in the world.
Into the that midst comes the PB18 e-tron, PB standing for Pebble Beach of course. The PB is Audi's idea of what a 21st Century all-electric super might look like, and to judge from the blacked-out photo we've see so far, it looks pretty mean. It also looks a little, thus far, like the Audi Avus supercar concept of the 1990s, but that's perhaps a discussion for another day.
The styling is the work of Audi's US design studio, the Malibu Design Loft, and is said to draw some of its electric drive technology directly from the R18 diesel-hybrid Le Mans racer.
It will be shown off first at The Quail, on August 23rd. The Quail is a car event like few others, with tickets costing more than USD$600 per person, and focused only on the finest classic cars, with a smattering of very high-end new metal too.
After that, the PB18 will put in a second appearance at the Laguna Seca race track in Monterey, and then a final showing at the Concours D'Elegance itself. It'll be accompanied by an honour guard of historic and current Audi models.
We don't know much else about the PB18 for now, but it's likely to use some of the tech from the upcoming e-tron Quattro all-electric SUV (probably including having rea-rview mirrors replaced by hi-def cameras - those little stalks above the doors in the photo don't look much like regular mirrors to us...).
Will it preview an all-electric successor to the current R8 supercar? Bet on it...