Audi’s RS Q E-Tron Dakar rally vehicles acquire various phase wins in Saudi Arabia

Roost it!


Audi ran three ridiculously difficult and amazing hybrid electric powered cars at the Dakar Rally this year, and right after 13 times of racing, the German automaker has a large amount to crow about.

In conditions of phase wins, Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz in the No. 202 auto arrived out on leading, with two very first- and 2nd-area finishes, as nicely as a few third-position finishes. Stéphane “Mr. Dakar” Peterhansel and co-driver Edouard Boulanger in the No. 200 car or truck earned themselves one to start with- and one particular 3rd-put phase complete and two next sites. Rounding out the Audi team are Mattias Ekström and co-driver Emil Bergkvist in the No. 224 auto with 1 initial, next and 3rd complete.

Nonetheless, when the dust settled, Ekström and Bergkvist proved to be the most constant, earning a ninth-spot complete overall with a time of 41 hours, 15 minutes, 14 seconds, about 2 several hours, 42 minutes driving all round winners Nasser Al-Attiyah and Matthieu Baumel. Sainz and Cruz came in 12th location overall with a time of 42 hours, 12 minutes, 24 seconds. Peterhansel and Boulanger came in a disappointing 57th area with a time of 106 hours, 45 minutes, 16 seconds. The duo experienced a devastating start to the rally when they took out the rear close of their RS Q E-Tron racer.

Audi is hoping to revolutionize rallying with the RS Q E-Tron just as it did in 1981 when it released its Quattro all-wheel-drive process. On the other hand, the enterprise is aware of latest battery technologies just cannot contend in a lengthy-stage, multiday rally like the Dakar. The range just isn’t really there. So the car’s 52-kilowatt-hour battery is billed on the go by a gasoline-run 2.-liter I4 turbocharged motor. Coupled to that motor is a motor-generator unit that feeds the battery. Two other motor-generator models drive the entrance and rear wheels. In this way, the battery can supply sufficient energy for the stages devoid of stopping for a recharge — some of them are as long as 500 miles.

Gotta like that scoop.


The automobiles left each individual morning with a whole cost, but preserving the battery from depleting speedily can be challenging. A great deal of the Dakar rally is expended navigating the dunes, which does a range on vary. The sand provides resistance as do small tire pressures. Per the Dakar policies, the Audi’s motor-generator models on the axles need to be restricted to a whole of 288 kilowatts of power, or 386 horsepower, and the vitality converter can only supply 220 kW of electricity. Though Audi did not count on to usually be utilizing extra electrical power than the car is producing, there ended up times in which teams observed vary fall precipitously. Having said that, a difficult established of algorithms and engineering magic retained the battery within just a specified condition of charge. 

Audi has not produced any torque numbers for its hybrid race automobile, but the RS Q E-Tron can reportedly speed up from to 60 mph on a free surface area in considerably less than 4.5 seconds and its top rated speed is constrained to 106 mph. The battery provides an further 816 lbs to the chassis. The car or truck also has 6 cooling units for the two electric motors, battery, power converter, gasoline-driven motor and cabin. There are also about 2.5 miles of cables in the car, and that doesn’t contain the 800-volt cables for the battery. I do not envy the Audi techs with this 1.

The RS Q E-Tron is a rather slick piece of technology, although it nonetheless burns dinosaurs to make the electricity. Confident, we all want clear power, but it can be a sluggish process to get there.

I have campaigned two electric cars in sanctioned motorsports functions. The Rivian R1T demanded a charge in the center of working day all through the Rebelle Rally, but I was not rallying for velocity, but rather navigational precision. In the Mexican 1000, Volkswagen charged the ID 4 in a trailer throughout the on-highway transit levels. In each instances the ability was delivered by a diesel generator, although the charging unit for the Rebelle Rally was ready to operate on hydrogen electrical power and it was only a logistical issue that held it from carrying out so.

My place below is that Audi is operating with the engineering that is now offered. It truly is not suitable, but it really is just a person action on the road to very long-selection batteries.

In the Dakar Rally, teams are up versus numerous new challenges, not just driving an experimental vehicle. Roadbooks had been given out 15 minutes ahead of the begin of the day’s phase. In earlier yrs co-motorists obtained their books the night time just before, allowing for for overview and notes.

Further, the roadbooks this 12 months were electronic. Co-drivers had two screens in front of them. The still left showed pretty crude drawings of the terrain and the way via. For instance, there may perhaps be rocks on 1 facet of the note represented by irregular circles and a making on the other, represented by a rectangle. In truth the rocks could be any sizing and the building could be a shack. If this display screen unsuccessful, co-drivers experienced a sealed paper roadbook as a backup. On the suitable-hand screen navigators could see their directional heading and a validation when the digital waypoint was achieved. 

This is Audi’s initially time competing in the Dakar rally, while it truly is no stranger to electrified racing. The enterprise gained the 24 Several hours of Le Mans in 2012 with an electrified drivetrain in the R18 E-Tron Quattro and winning seasons in Formula E in 2017 and 2018. In simple fact, the motor-generator models on the Dakar car are lifted from the current Audi E-Tron FE07 Method E car — with some slight modifications.