Audi will compete in the Dakar Rally in January with the fully electric RS Q e-tron off-roader and recently completed a strenuous eight-day endurance test under the Spanish sun.
The test was carried out near the city of Saragossa, with Audi Sport drivers Stéphane Peterhansel and his co-driver Edouard Boulanger driving the RS Q e-tron from Friday to Sunday, Mattias Ekström and Emil Bergkvist on Monday and Tuesday as well as Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz from Wednesday to Friday.
Throughout the test, the off-roader reached a top speed of 112 mph (180 km / h) while the 34 degrees Celsius (93 degrees Fahrenheit) weather served as an important test of its cooling systems. The RS Q e-tron covered more than 1,700 km during the tests.
Read more: Audi RS Q e-tron unveiled for the Dakar Rally, with electrified drive train with 671 hp
“For a first test under the right conditions for the car, I’m really happy how the car is already behaving,” said Carlos Sainz after the test. “I had a really good feeling straight away. Of course, the fine-tuning still has to be worked on – but the starting position is good. “
“The aim of this test was to get as much driving pleasure as possible and to identify weak points,” adds development engineer Arnau Niubó Bosch. “The next test in September will take us into the dunes for the first time.”
The Audi RS Q e-tron is powered by a battery pack weighing around 370 kg with a capacity of around 50 kWh. It feeds front and rear electric motors, which together produce 671 horsepower, although it remains to be seen whether the organizers of the Dakar Rally will allow all this power. Since stages of up to 800 km have to be mastered and there are obviously no chargers in the desert, the electric racing car also has a 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder engine that acts as a generator to charge the batteries.