Audi Sport has its roots in rallying. The Audi quattro revolutionized the World Rally Championship in the early 1980s with its all-wheel drive system, which has caught on. Even today, four driven wheels are standard in this competition if you want to win. Posters, photos and stickers on display at Audi Sport in Neuburg still recall this time.
The Dakar project: From circuit racing to the desert
Initially, a small core team at Audi Sport worked on a feasibility study for the alternative drivetrain concept. The design and concept phase began in June 2020. Things really got underway in August.
Audi Sport has been developing new race cars for more than four decades, whether rally cars, production-based or other touring car concepts, LMP sports prototypes or race cars for Formula E and rallycross. The diverse expertise also helped in the development of the Audi RS Q e-tron.
Reliability is Audi Sport’s top priority for the Dakar Rally. In the desert, the technology has to be prepared for sand, boulders, rough gravel roads as well as mud, rain and extreme heat. These conditions are particularly tough for the electric drive.
All of the relevant departments were involved in the development of the Audi RS Q e-tron at Audi Sport. Whereas the engineers always had a certain basis for the circuit racing projects, they started from scratch for the RS Q e-tron. Audi Sport defined all parameters on a blank sheet of paper. In Q Motorsport, the brand had a strong partner at its side from the very beginning who has a lot of experience in rally raids. In January 2022, all three Audi RS Q e-tron cars saw the finish line on their Dakar debut. Six weeks later, the team celebrated its first victory at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Following the 2022 development season, Audi Sport is thoroughly prepared for the 2023 Dakar Rally.