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Audi RS Q E-Tron hybrid Dakar Rally prototype looks ready to tame the dunes

Audi is getting its electrified powertrain technology to a single of the most grueling races on the earth. It will contend in the 2022 edition of the Dakar Rally with an experimental gasoline-electric powered hybrid off-roader named RS Q E-Tron.

Although a number of versions in the German firm’s line-up dress in the E-Tron label, the Dakar-sure RS Q is a reason-designed prototype that is not in any way connected to a production design. It was developed for racing from the floor up in about a calendar year, and it is really a way to check a number of intelligent capabilities that could trickle down to upcoming versions later on.

Audi chosen a hybrid drivetrain as a substitute of likely all-electric powered due to the fact Dakar stages can be up to five hundred miles extended just before detours and other unexpected gatherings are factored in. Discovering a charging station in the Saudi Arabian desert is less difficult reported than done, and waiting around for an electric powered vehicle to cost just isn’t ideal in a race exactly where every single split next is important. The method depends on a TFSI engine sourced from the firm’s now-shuttered DTM touring vehicle method and set up to cost the fifty-kilowatt-hour battery pack on-the-go. It operates in between four,five hundred and 6,000 rpm.

From there, the electrical power reaches the 4 wheels by using a pair of electric powered motors (a single for every axle) borrowed from the vehicle Audi races with in Components E, a set up that offers the RS Q E-Tron a via-the-street variation of the famed Quattro all-wheel-drive method. Smaller modifications had been created to each motor to prepare them for the trials of Dakar. Ultimately, there is a 3rd motor mounted as aspect of the vitality converter method it helps cost the battery pack as well.

The system’s full output checks in at 670 horsepower, while it is really unclear how considerably of this reserve the vehicle will be permitted to tap into through the race. Rules won’t be finalized right until later in 2021. In the meantime, Audi will continue screening the RS Q E-Tron on off-street tracks and in cross-state rallies to make any and all changes just before the 2022 Dakar, which starts off on January 2 in Ha’il, Saudi Arabia, and finishes in Jeddah twelve times later. Dakar legends Stephane Peterhansel and Carlos Sainz will drive the two prototypes Audi will enter in the function.

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