Audi, the German automobile maker, showcased a new concept car at the 2018 Concours d’elegance car show in Pebble Beach, California. The PB18 e-tron concept car is a hybrid sports car that has a fully adjustable cockpit and a new solid state battery.
The two seater car has a rather unique, customizable design. It has two modes: Standard, and “Level Zero”. In standard mode, it’s just like any other car, with the steering wheel on the left hand side. However, if you choose to activate the “Level Zero Mode”, the entire driving setup moves to the centre of the vehicle, allowing for an easier ride in sports mode.
Audi did this to replicate the experience of an actual sports car in a compact, electrical sedan. “You push a button and it’s all you,” said Filip Brabec, chief of Audi USA. The sliding seat was made possible because of a “drive-by-wire” system that uses digital communication to steer the car.
The car also has a transparent grille so that the driver has a clear view of the road while sitting in the middle, making it useful and practical while driving at high speeds on a race track. The car is fitted with a 95-kWh battery pack that can go up to 310 mph, going from 0 to 60 mph in less than 2 seconds.
The move to redesign the vehicle in such a manner is a surprising one in this day and age, where most companies are abandoning steering wheels altogether to create self driving cars. Audi said that it wanted to cater to those who actually enjoy driving, as that’s what an auto show is all about.