Audi has a rich motorsport history. Over the years, the Ingolstadt-based brand has established its dominance over the rally world. Audi’s RS Q e-tron rally cars recently made their world debut in Saudi Arabia at the Dakar rally with a three car team effort. According to the company, the RS Q e-tron is the most complex racer that Audi has produced to date.
All three rally racers successfully conquered some of the most challenging rally stages in the world and covered almost 15,000 desert miles (24,000 kilometers). Overall, Audi prototypes reigned in 14 podium results and four stage wins, which is a historic result for Volkswagen’s sub-brand. During the Dakar rally, the car had to complete daily stages, which stretched over 800 kilometers.
Three-time Dakar Rally Champion Carlos Sainz in the #202 RS Q e-tron led the charge for Audi with two first- and second-place finishes, as well as three third-place finishes. Sainz came in 12th place overall with a time of 42 hours, 12 minutes, 24 seconds behind the rally winner.
Since there are no charging points in the desert, Audi devised an ingenious charging system for the RS Q e-tron. The rally car uses a DTM TFSI engine as part of an energy converter to recharge the high voltage battery pack. We also find motor generator units MGUs on both front and rear axles, derived from Audi’s e-tron FE07 Formula E racer.
The Making Of The Audi RS Q e-tron
What is most incredible about the RS Q e-tron project is the massive scale of comprehensive development and rapid prototyping that all happened in a matter of months. Things like vehicle development and motorsports programs typically take years on end. Audi brought this all together in only months. You can watch their Road To Dakar 2022 Youtube Playlist that documents first-hand accounts from many key players involved.
Audi’s RS Q e-tron competed in the T1 Ultimate category for alternative drivetrain vehicles. The racer gets a steel tube frame chassis that uses structural components made of carbon/Cylon fiber composites. The rally car rides on a set of 17-inch forged aluminum wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich tires.
The Audi RS Q e-tron racer has a top speed of 106 MPH and can accelerate to 62 mph from a complete standstill in under 4.5 seconds on loose surfaces. It is clear that as part of Audi’s ambitious commitment to electrification, the automaker is also trying to employ electric mobility to redefine the world of motorsport.