Audi RS Q E-Tron gets updates for its third Dakar Rally attempt

The Audi RS Q E-Tron has launched an updated version of its custom built buggy designed to take on the challenging Dakar Rally.

This latest version marks the third iteration of the rally style SUV, and Audi has confirmed that it will be competing in the 2024 Dakar Rally set to take place in January. This grueling rally will cover nearly 5,000 miles, traversing the rocky terrains and deserts of Saudi Arabia.

Audi stated that the updates to the RS Q E-Tron aim to improve safety, comfort, and reliability. These updates have also contributed to lowering the cars weight and shortening maintenance times.

The original Audi RS Q E-Tron made its debut in the 2022 Dakar Rally and performed well, securing some stage wins and single day podium results. An updated RS Q E-Tron was then entered in the 2023 Dakar Rally, but the team faced setbacks following crashes, resulting in limited success.

2024 Updates:

2024 Audi RS Q E-Tron rally car

Similar to the previous models, the new RS Q E-Tron remains a series plug-in hybrid, utilizing a combustion engine to charge a battery that powers an electric drive system. This setup includes a dual motor all wheel drive system with a peak 383 hp.

Regulations say a minimum weight of 2,100 kg for vehicles competing in the Dakar Rally. While the RS Q E-Tron is above this target weight, engineers managed to reduce its weight from previous iterations by incorporating lighter body panels, smaller brake calipers, and optimizing certain interior components. These weight reductions were achieved while using more durable but heavier tires than in previous years.

It’s all about Safety:

In the safety department, changes were made to the springs, dampers, and bump stops within the chassis in order to achieve less bounce during landings. This was a key concern following a rollover incident during the 2023 rally. Additionally, a longer carbon fiber reinforced plastic crash box was installed at the front of the chassis to enhance energy absorption during crashes.

Participating in the Dakar Rally allows Audi to put various components to the test, with some potentially being utilized in future production electric vehicles, including the possibility of a rugged off road vehicle. While Audi has also competed in Formula E, the Dakar Rally provides a much more rigorous test of endurance, with multiple stages spanning two weeks and covering distances of close to 500 miles, lasting several hours each.

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