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Audi RS Q e-tron Conquers Morocco During Testing Ahead of Next Year’s Dakar Rally

Audi is on a roll with its electrified e-tron models and is now looking to establish itself as a powerhouse with regards to both passenger vehicles as well as in the world of low-to-zero emissions motorsports. Aside from the current e-tron FE07 Formula E car, the German brand has also created the so-called RS Q e-tron, a hybrid off-road race car set to race in the Dakar Rally come 2022.
Audi RS Q e-tron prototype testing in Morocco 74 photos
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The RS Q e-tron is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four gasoline engine, a 50-kWh battery and two electric motors, one per axle. The internal combustion unit is the same one used in the RS 5 Turbo DTM, while the electric motors are borrowed from the previously mentioned Formula E car, which Audi developed for the 2021 season.

After testing the RS Q e-tron in Germany and Spain, Audi finally brought it to the dunes of Morocco, with Dakar record winner Stephane Peterhansel, Carlos Sainz and Mattias Ekstrom all taking turns behind the wheel of this prototype, joined by their co-drivers.

According to Audi, the driver and co-driver represent an important pairing in the Dakar Rally, and both must feel very comfortable inside the cockpit.

“This was one of many topics we had on our to-do list after the test in Zaragoza,” said one Andreas Roos, responsible for factory motorsport projects at Audi Sport. “For the test in Morocco, we made modifications so that the driver and co-driver have more space in the tight cockpit and can also communicate better with each other. The feedback was positive.”

As for the conditions the test team encountered while flying over dunes, the thermometer spiked to well over 104 F (40 C) according to Q Motorsport team principal Sven Quandt, who added that testing was somewhat hampered by sandstorms and that the high temperatures did cause some interruptions.

That being said, Roos expects much lower temperatures during the Dakar Rally, which takes place this upcoming January.

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