Audi hopes that the RS Q e-tron will kick off an electric revolution in the Dakar rally.
Almost a year after revealing its concept for an electric Dakar car, Audi has now revealed the RS Q e-tron, as it will be known. Audi hopes that the RS Q e-tron will usher in an electric revolution in the sand dunes.
In 2022, Audi will once again be at the start of a Dakar rally. It marks the German brand's return to the rally world, where the iconic Quattro was so successful. Audi's participation in the Dakar rally will replace the brand's factory program in Formula E, where it will no longer be active with its own factory team after 2021.
Audi teased us with the electro rally monster last year, and now the company has finally revealed it. The racing machine, known as the Audi RS Q e-tron, is described as "one of the most technologically advanced vehicles Audi Sport has ever developed for motorsport." Audi hopes that this electric vehicle will change the course of the Dakar.
Audi has been developing an electric powertrain with a large high-voltage battery that can be charged while driving by an energy converter in the form of a TFSI engine. That TFSI engine is not from a regular Audi, but rather from a DTM car. Audi also incorporates more components from another sport, Formula E. The MGU units in the RS Q e-front tron's and rear come from the e-tron FE07 Formula E car. According to the company, only minor changes were required to that MGU.
A third MGU is part of the energy converter and charges the battery while the vehicle is in motion. During braking, energy is also stored. The Audi's battery pack weighs 370 kilograms and has a capacity of 'around' 50 kWh. This should give the vehicle a range of up to 800 kilometers. The knowledge gained in Dakar will eventually be used to develop future series production models, according to the plan.
The RS Q e-maximum tron's system power is 500 kW/680 hp, but it remains to be seen how much of this Audi will be used. That has yet to be determined by the organizers. Audi has already begun testing for the RS Q e-tron. That, in their words, happened in record time, given that the concept was still in its infancy last year. It began the test in northern Germany and will soon travel to Spain for additional testing.