When Audi said it was pulling out of Formula E so that it could focus on a whole new 2022 Dakar Rally car, we figured it must have something special in mind. Turns out that was indeed the case, with the Audi RS Q e-tron the very unusual hybrid set to race in the desert. Dakar is known for being gruelling, and so Audi’s EV pulls out all the stops.
There are three electric motors in all. Two are for direct propulsion, one on each axle. That way, Audi can deliver all-wheel drive, though without the weight and complexity of a mechanical link between the front and rear wheels. The third electric motor is used in the charging system.
There’s a roughly 50 kWh high-voltage battery, and it’s charged with an efficient TFSI turbocharged gas engine. The result is enough power to handle the daily Dakar stages – which can be almost 500 miles in length – even if the nearest DC fast charger is thousands of miles away. We’ll see just how well it all works in January 2022.