Audi reveals the insane Dakar-spec Audi RS Q e-tron
The RS Q e-tron is Audi's choice of weapon in its comeback to rallyingAudi AG

Audi reveals the insane Dakar-spec Audi RS Q e-tron

With the Audi RS Q e-tron, the German manufacturer intends to make a grand return to rallying

The Audi RS Q e-tron has been revealed in its entirety, as Audi intends to be the first manufacturer to use an electric car in the Dakar rally. Well, sort of. We’ll get to that in a bit, but let’s indulge in a history lesson first.

Audi entered the rallying scene in 1980 with the quattro which produced 300bhp. Michele Mouton was the first female racer to win a world championship rally in the Audi quattro back in 1981. The quattro A1 and A2 would later go on to win several world rallies at the hands of Hannu Mikola, Stig Blomqvist, and Walter Rohrl, resulting in Audi becoming a giant in the rallying world. In 2012, Audi also became the first manufacturer to win the Le Mans 24 Hours with a hybrid, using the the R18 e-tron.

The Audi RS Q e-tron will be powered by a 50kWh battery
The Audi RS Q e-tron will be powered by a 50kWh batteryAudi AG

Fast forward to 2021, Audi now intends to make a comeback to rallying with an electrified drivetrain. The Audi RS Q e-tron that’s entered the testing phase will be Audi’s weapon of choice to conquer the 2022 Dakar Rally.

Audi RS Q e-tron

The TFSI  combustion engine from the DTM works as a charger for the 50kWh battery of the Audi RS Q e-tron
The TFSI combustion engine from the DTM works as a charger for the 50kWh battery of the Audi RS Q e-tronAudi AG

The Audi RS Q e-tron is actually a hybrid off-roader as it gets a 50kWh battery, and the TFSI combustion engine from the DTM. Since there are obviously zero resources of charging available in the desert, this TFSI engine works as a charger for the battery. The front and rear axles both consist of a motor-generator unit each, and are powered by the 50kWh battery. These motor-generator units are borrowed from the Audi e-tron FE07 Formula-E car with minor modifications. There is also a third motor-generator unit which is part of the energy converter and recharges the battery while driving. In addition, the electric drivetrain also makes use of regenerative braking that will charge the Audi RS Q e-tron whenever the brakes are applied. Audi claims this electrified drivetrain produces a power output of 660bhp, but the final figures are yet to be confirmed.

The Audi RS Q e-tron gets a total of three motor-generator units owing to the challenging conditions of the Dakar Rally
The Audi RS Q e-tron gets a total of three motor-generator units owing to the challenging conditions of the Dakar RallyAudi AG

With the electric RS Q e-tron, do you think Audi will usher in a new era of electric vehicles in the gruelling Dakar rally? Let us know your views in the comments section, and follow our social media handles to keep up with the thrill of driving.

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