History in the making? Audi reveals all-electric challenger to take on 2022 Dakar Rally

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Audi RS Q e-Tron that will compete in the 2022 Dakar Rally
Audi RS Q e-Tron that will compete in the 2022 Dakar Rally

• Audi revealed its 2022 Dakar challenger.

• The all-electric RS Q e-Tron will look to give rewrite the history books when it competes next year.

• Total system output for the RS Q e-Tron is 500kW.

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Audi is looking to rewrite history when they field an electric vehicle in the 2022 Dakar Rally. Dubbed the RS Q e-Tron, the electric sports car is Audi's way of ushering in a new era to the Dakar and has brought an 'innovative charging concept' to the package.

Audi says they've implemented the TFSI from its DTM programme onto the Dakar challenger as part of an energy converter that charges the high-voltage battery while driving. The electric drivetrain features a motor-generator unit (MGU) from the current Audi e-Tron FE07 Formula E on both the front and rear axles.

Julius Seebach, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH and responsible for motorsport at Audi, says: "The quattro was a gamechanger for the World Rally Championship. Audi was the first brand to win the Le Mans 24 Hours with an electrified drivetrain. Now, we want to usher in a new era at the Dakar Rally while testing and further developing our e-Tron technology under extreme conditions."

Audi RS Q e-Tron
Audi RS Q e-Tron that will compete in the 2022 Dakar Rally


Taking on the 800km stages

The Dakar takes place over two weeks at the start of each year. Each stage can be up to 800km in length, which can be an issue for an electric vehicle - especially because there aren't charging stations in the Saudi desert. This is why Audi incorporated its TFSI engine into the vehicle's design. In total, the system output for the RS Q e-Tron is a massive 500kW, but how much the team can use during the race is being finalized by the race's governing body.

As with any electric vehicle, the RS Q e-Tron only has one forward gear, and the two axles are not mechanically connected. Specifically developed software controls the torque distribution between the axles. After months of intensive work, Audi officially revealed its Dakar challenger and lauded it as a special moment.

Andres Roos, an Audi Dakar programme member, says: "This project's schedule is extremely packed and challenging. Less than twelve months have passed since the project officially started. We had to begin the development while the regulations for alternatively-powered vehicles had not even been finalized yet. And all of the development took place during the global Coronavirus pandemic. What the team has achieved so far is unique. The roll-out was a very special moment for everyone."

Audi RS Q e-Tron
Audi RS Q e-Tron that will compete in the 2022 Dakar Rally
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