Audi 20quattro ore dei Laghi: the e-tron christen the first Italian electric rally

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Against the backdrop of the Dolomites, the Audi Q4 50 e-tron quattro and RS e-tron GT, the most powerful road Audi ever, gave life to the 20quattro ore dei Laghi, the first Italian rally for electric cars organized by Audi in compliance with Fia and Aci Sport regulations. Started and arrived in Cortina, the race lasted twenty-four hours involving twenty-four crews divided into six teams, made up of journalists and famous pilots and ex-pilots but only in the role of co-pilot, and unfolded over 900 kilometers of steep climbs and descents as well as the more than 10,000 curves of seven passes, including Falzarego, Pordoi, Tre Croci, Cimabanche, Fedaia and Giau.

An unusual rally for both the protagonists and the formula. In practice, an experimentation of how the electric transition could shape the rallies of the future. For Audi, similar experiments are not new: in the Eighties it brought all-wheel drive to World Rally with the “quattro”, with the R18 it participated with the turbodiesel hybrid at Le Mans and, just a few weeks ago, it made its debut among the dunes of the Dakar an electrified powertrain with range-extender with the RS Q e-tron.

Exploring the evolution of the races, the idea of ​​the 20quattro ore dei Laghi was born, in practice the synthesis between a rally and endurance and regularity races. The formula based on a patrol route, with a single assistance point dedicated only to quick recharges from a 1,000 kWh power bank, defines the final classification both with the times of the special stages on tracks drawn on the frozen lakes of the Dolomites, tackled with studded tires, and the respect of the times imposed in the transfers both of the surprise satellite checks of the averages and of the speeds imposed in defined stretches, as well as of the consumption of electricity.

These parameters carry penalties, for example, when at the end of the two of the eight stages assigned to each crew, the percentage of electricity in the battery is lower than expected, but also bonuses if it is higher than the target set for the patrol. traveled. In this regard, two for each crew: one day and one night each.

In short, more parameters to keep at bay for the crews who alternated in the cockpits of the six compact Q4 50 SUVs and the six RS GT touring cars that animated the 20quattro ore dei Laghi. Very different models in size, power, weight and type but with a DNA impregnated with common solutions and technologies. For example, the low center of gravity, the equal distribution of weight on the two axles and the electric all-wheel drive consisting of two electric motors, one front and one rear, and much faster than a mechanical one.

The twelve e-trons faced conditions typical of a demanding rally, such as uneven or partially snow-covered surfaces near the over 2,200 meters of Pordoi and the zero grip of the special stages on the Fedaia, Issengo and Pianozes lakes, but did not require waivers. in terms of driving fun in timed trials, proving to be reliable and communicative as in less treacherous situations.

However, during the concept of the rally of the future, fun did not always rhyme with relaxation because on the climbs and curves of the Dolomite roads, also having to deal with the oppression of medium-duty taxes, autonomy has reduced the picture. At least temporarily. In fact, in the subsequent descents, the efficiency of energy management and electricity flows has rebalanced the situation. Indeed, in some cases the determination of the recovery of electricity in the slowdowns has even slightly improved the distances displayed before the start of the climbs. Ultimately, the sporting and technical balance of the 20quattro ore dei Laghi is positive as well as encouraging towards the development of zero-emission rallies.

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