We want to believe.
Rarer than a Bugatti Chiron, the R8 E-Tron is one of the most exclusive cars ever made by Audi, but this wasn’t intentional. The original fully electric supercar based on the first-gen R8 never actually saw the light of production day while its successor was axed after being on the market for only about a year. During this interval, less than 100 examples were ever produced at an eye-watering €1 million ($1.15M in today’s money) a pop.
Even though the R8 E-Tron has been haunted by failure, it seems Audi is determined to bring it back. A new report from Automotive News indicates the PB 18 E-Tron concept due to be unveiled later this month during the Pebble Beach Car Week could serve as a preview for a new electric supercar. The rumour mill indicates it could either be an addition to the R8 family or it might replace the conventionally powered model altogether.
Taking into account Audi has strongly suggested it won’t renew the R8 for a third generation, the concept teased here might actually form the basis for an R8 successor under a different name. The Ingolstadt-based marque hasn’t disclosed any technical specifications about the PB 18 E-Tron, but it has mentioned it will use technology derived from the R18 LMP race car.
The fact that Audi says its new concept serves as a “design study for a puristic sports car of the future” could be a sign the PB 18 E-Tron will be a window into the company’s high-performance electric future. Speaking of which, a sporty four-door E-Tron GT has already been confirmed for a launch in the early 2020s and it might have something in common with Porsche’s Taycan due next year.
Meanwhile, we will learn everything there is to know about the PB 18 E-Tron on August 23 when it will be unveiled at the Laguna Seca track. A day later, it will be exhibited at “The Quail” and on August 25 it will be back at Laguna Seca before heading to the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach on August 26.