Audi RS Q e-tron, or Dakar on electricity, but not quite

Audi RS Q e-tron, or Dakar on electricity, but not quite


Audi is going all out – it’s built a brand new Dakar car called the RS Q e-tron, has recruited big stars and has a budget that will ensure the team takes a quick victory at the world’s most famous rally. Let’s look at the machine required to make this possible – it is a car that is said to be electric but carries 300 liters of fuel.

The electric drive is making its presence felt more and more in motorsport spark plugs. The Formula E can be traced back to 2014, and the corresponding motorcycle has been around since 2019 – FireE. For years, no one was surprised by hybrids in racing – after all, this is what Formula 1 or the highest level cars compete in. Le Mans. However, rallies, especially the long-distance Dakar, seemed to be where we won’t see an electric car for a long time. Until Audi came up with its RS Q throne.

But what is the Audi RS Q e-tron anyway? Because many people like to talk about it as an electric car. It sounds amazing – an electric car that can cover the routes of the Dakar Rally. However, you only need to look at the technical parameters to see that The RS Q e-tron has a 300 liter fuel tank on board. So what kind of electrician is it?

Audi RS Q e-tron, or rather its body, visited Warsaw
Photo source: © photo by Szymon Jasina

Audi RS Q e-tron, or rather its body, visited Warsaw

Itself Audi he’s completely honest about it and talks about electric motors, but doesn’t call it an electric car. After a while, you can see that the idea itself is not as revolutionary as it might seem, because The Audi RS Q e-tron is a hybrid. But not like Toyota Prius (or road hybrids like Audi), that is, parallel (or more precisely series-parallel), but full series.

What does it mean? In a serial hybrid, it is the electric motor (or motors) itself that is responsible for the vehicle, while the internal combustion unit is only used as a power generator. This is also the case with the Audi RS Q e-tron. It has two electric motors to drive the wheels – one on the front axle and one on the rear axle. In addition, there is a gasoline engine under the body The TFSI engine taken from the German DTM series racing cars along with a third electric motorwhich here acts as an energy converter (mechanical to electric motor).

Audi RS Q e-tron
Image source: © image by Audi

Audi RS Q e-tron

As already mentioned, this is not a new idea. This is how the BMW i3 worked in the version with a range booster – an internal combustion engine that recharged the battery. But also hybrids such as the Chevrolet Volt, the first generation of which was sold here as the Opel Ampera.

The idea here is very simple. The TFSI combustion engine reaches its maximum performance in the range of 4,500 to 6,000 rpm. And it is this value that is maintained during its operation, but the energy – instead of being transferred to the wheels – is converted into electricity and stored in the battery. These have a total capacity of 52 kW and a weight of approximately 370 kg.

Audi RS Q e-tron
Image source: © image by Audi

Audi RS Q e-tron

Of course, behind the whole project is the desire to promote Audi e-tron cars, but this type of car has its real advantages. On the one hand, it should be more efficient (and therefore ecological). Dakar cars are heavy machines anyway, so the 2-tonne RS Q e-tron is no match in this regard. On the other hand, the electric wheel drive has many advantages – high torque is available at all speeds, and it can be easily distributed as desired.

So how does the Audi RS Q e-tron present itself in numbers? The power of the car is 392 KM, and the internal combustion engine itself is a two-liter turbocharged unit. Acceleration to 100 km / h on loose surfaces takes about 4.5 seconds, and the maximum speed is 170 km / h. However, as you know, at the Dakar Rally, what is most important is how this performance can be used in real desert conditions. The car itself is 4.5 meters long, 2.3 meters wide and 1.95 meters tall. Its weight, without drivers, is about 2 tons.

Audi RS Q e-tron
Image source: © image by Audi

Audi RS Q e-tron

Speaking of drivers, Audi leaves nothing to chance and has hired real stars. The German team shows the three cars behind the wheel in which they sit Carlos Sainz, Stéphane Peterhansel and Mattias Ekström. Their experience also shows that they themselves believe in the success of Audi and therefore decided to join the team.

Audi RS Q e-tron
Image source: © image by Audi

Audi RS Q e-tron

The power of the Audi RS Q e-tron is also convinced by a Polish driver with many years of experience, namely Jakub Przygoński, who in an interview with Marcin Łobodziński admitted that the German hybrid scared everyone with its performance. It must be remembered that the RS Q e-tron had already started in the Dakar Rally in early 2022, but it was the beginning of testing. You can say that it is a test.

The Audi car had a lot of explosions, but it was also possible to build it very quickly, and as long as it reached the finish line of the special stage, its performance was impressive. The capabilities of the RS Q e-tron are confirmed by the second performance of this model, which took place at the Abu Dhabi Desert Race. And in this meeting, Stéphane Peterhansel has already won.

Audi RS Q e-tron
Image source: © image by Audi

Audi RS Q e-tron