Only the toughest will survive the infamous Dakar rally. Driving across 8000km of Saudi Arabia's unforgiving sandy terrain, you are going to need a specially made machine that is tough enough to tackle the challenge. Audi thinks that they got what it takes as they line up the RS Q e-Tron for the 2022 Dakar rally
Electrifying the Future of Dakar?
By this stage, you could already tell that this entry by Audi is electric powered. There is a single motor at each axle to form an all-wheel drive system, and a software will handle the torque distribution.
The electric motors can also act as generators under braking and help refill the battery with power. As for now, this RS Q runs with 671BHP which may be limited, depending on the rules of next year's Dakar rally. Audi had no problem in sourcing the electric motors as it is the same ones found in their Formula E cars.
In case of an emergency, you could imagine finding a power source in the middle of the desert will be a challenge. This however, will not be a problem for the RS Q e-Tron as it carries a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 that is mated to a generator to keep the battery charged. This turbocharged engine is not your average one either as it was lifted from Audi's former RS 5 DTM race car.
Stress sometimes can be good!
The Dakar rally offers a great platform for Audi to stress test their components which might soon find their way to the electric road cars. Compared to a Formula E race which runs for 45 minutes, the rally features multiple stages spanning two weeks!
“What we are trying to do has never been done before,” said Andreas Roos, head of Audi's Dakar project. “This is the ultimate challenge for an electric drivetrain.”
An electric rallying machine, and an upcoming LMDh race car. Looks like Audi is ramping up their motorsports activities!