Live Photos: Audi PB18 e-tron and Aicon

The Audi e-tron was just recently revealed on September 17 at a massive event in San Francisco. Prior to its actual launch that day, though, Audi held a bit of a tech park to show off all of its current tech and some of its more recent concept cars. Two of those cars were the Audi PB18 e-tron, which is the brand’s most recent concept, and the Audi Aicon, its fully-autonomous concept sedan.

First up, the Audi Aicon, which was the first of the two concepts to debut. Despite being significantly older than the PB18, it still looks futuristic, seeming like a little autonomous pod from some high-tech, future-set movie.

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With the doors open, you can see inside the Aicon completely, as the rear doors open rearward and the car lacks a B-pillar. So with both doors open you get a single massive opening that’s really quite nice. Once inside, you’ll notice that there’s no steering wheel or pedals, because the Aicon is designed to drive completely on its own. That makes the cabin basically, well, a cabin. With stylish chairs and interesting materials, the Aicon is unique. It’s also incredibly spacious inside and seems like it would be a fantastically comfortable car to ride in.

Next up was the Audi PB18 e-tron. Audi’s all-electric supercar concept is truly something special to behold in person. It sports a shooting brake design, a hollowed front end and a sliding driver’s seat. Watching the driver’s seat slide over from the left to the center is odd but awesome. It also gives the driver a much better view of the road. With the hollowed out front end, which basically uses the Singleframe grille as a giant hole, and a translucent gauge cluster, the driver can see through the gauges, through the hollowed front end and to the road. It’s awesome.

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Oh, and the Audi PB18 e-tron can supposedly rocket to 60 mph in just over two seconds, which is simply insane. While the PB18 won’t actually become a production car, the concepts and lessons learned from it will certainly make their way to production in the future. We asked the lead designer of the Audi PB18, Gael Buzyn, if the PB18 would replaced the dying Audi R8 in 2020 and, with a smile, he said he couldn’t answer that.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.