The Dakar 2023 is ready to go and will start on 31 December 2022 in Saudi Arabia and end on 15 January 2023. Audi is preparing to participate for the second time with the new generation of the electric prototype with range extender RS Q e-tron; after the four victories in last year’s stage, the declared goal is to conquer the podium, even if what really tempts is the final victory. The drivers, moreover, are of the highest level given that Audi lines up Mattias Ekström/Emil Bergkvist, Stéphane Peterhansel/Edouard Boulanger and Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz. Everyone will use the new RS Q e-tron “Our car is now very reliable and the improvements over the first generation are substantial. The dynamics and processes within the team are also tested.” said Rolf Michl, CEO of Audi Sport.
The Audi RS Q e-tron E2 is entered in the T1-U category and is powered by three electric motors: two MGUs (Motor Generator Units), one on each rear axle, take care of the traction, while a third unit acts as generator to help recharge the high voltage battery. Since there is no energy in the desert, the accumulators are replenished while driving by a range extender, i.e. a four-cylinder TFSI – direct injection petrol turbo – derived from DTM, the German Touring Car Championship. This engine is powered for the first time by a renewable fuel based on vegetable residues with no impact on the food supply chain, thanks to which CO2 emissions are reduced by 60% compared to the use of traditional racing fuel.
During development tests and the Morocco Rally – which generated very positive feedback last October – the second generation of the Audi RS Q e-tron showed reliability and high performance. “After Morocco, in Neuburg we completely disassembled and rebuilt all three cars, giving the crews the opportunity to drive them again before leaving for the Dakar” says Arnau Niubó Bosch, Project Leader Track Operations. “The engineers have trained Mattias, Emil, Stéphane, Edouard, Carlos and Lucas in detail on the technical solutions of the RS Q e-tron E2, so that they are able to intervene autonomously, as far as possible, in case of unforeseen events during the stages. Facing a two-week rally raid, a single negative day is enough to compromise the final result”.