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Audi has unveiled the much-awaited RS Q e-Tron that will take part in the next year Dakar Rally 2022. The Dakar Rally organizer introduced a new T1-E category, which is where the RS Q e-Tron will be competing.
According to the company's statement, Audi wants to be the first car manufacturer to use an electrified drivetrain in combination with an efficient energy converter. It will compete for overall victory against conventionally-powered competitors in the world's toughest rally.
Also, due to no charging opportunities in the desert, the RS Q e-Tron will feature an innovative charging concept. This will be via a highly efficient TFSI engine from the DTM racing, which is a part of an energy converter that charges the high-voltage battery while driving.
Since the combustion engine is operated in the particularly efficient range of between 4,500rpm and 6,000rpm, the specific consumption is well below 200 grams per kWh.
Regarding the electric powertrain of the RS Q e-Tron, the front and rear axles are both fitted with a motor-generator unit (MGU) from the current Audi e-Tron FE07 Formula E car. Only minor modifications had to be made to use the MGU in the Dakar Rally.
The rally car also features a third MGU, of an identical design, that is part of the energy converter and serves to recharge the high-voltage battery while driving. This is in addition to the energy recuperated during braking. The battery weighs about 370 kilograms and has a capacity of around 50 kWh.
The entire electric drivetrain produces a maximum of 670bhp. The front and rear axles are not mechanically connected. Instead, the software developed by the company distributes the torque between the axles. With the missing prop shafts and a mechanical differential, the rally car is significantly lighter.
Julius Seebach, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH, said, "The Quattro was a gamechanger for the World Rally Championship. Audi was the first brand to win the Le Mans 24 Hours with an electrified drivetrain. Now, we want to usher in a new era at the Dakar Rally, while testing and further developing our e-Tron technology under extreme conditions. Our RS Q e-Tron was created on a blank sheet of paper in record time and stands for Vorsprung durch Technik."
Stefan Dreyer, Head of Development, Audi Sport, said, "The battery is also a proprietary development that we have realized together with a partner. As engineers, we basically see development potential in every component. But in terms of the drivetrain system, we have already achieved a system efficiency of over 97 per cent in Formula E."
He further added, "There's not much more room for improvement. The situation is quite different with battery and energy management. This is where the greatest development potential lies in electromobility in general. What we learn from the extremely challenging Dakar project will flow into future production models. As always, we are also working closely with our colleagues from road car development on this project."
Thoughts About The Audi RS Q e-Tron For Dakar Rally 2022
Audi is all set to take on the conventionally powered vehicles at the world toughest rally race next year. The Audi RS Q e-Tron features a ton of new technology and an onboard energy generation system that will ensure to keep the batteries charged. Also, most of it the vehicle is electronically controlled, which also saves a ton of weight.