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Audi RS Q E-Tron at the 2024 Dakar Rally

Audi is fielding three electric RS Q e-tron vehicles in the 2024 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia. This is not the first time Audi has competed in Dakar with the RS Q e-tron, but 2024 may be particularly challenging says the team. Here’s a look at the 2024 Dakar Rally and Audi’s fascinating RS Q e-tron.

About the Dakar Rally

Dakar was first held in 1978. Its name was derived from its first destination, Dakar – the capital of Senegal on the west coast of Africa. Africa was the home of the rally from 1978 to 2007. In 2008, the event was canceled due to security reasons. For 2009, South America became the new home of the Dakar Rally for eleven years. In 2020, the Dakar Rally was moved to Saudi Arabia, which is its current host country. Since its beginning, the Dakar Rally has been the pinnacle of international rally-raid competition. Dakar includes several categories including motorcycles, quads, lightweight prototypes, cars, and trucks. For 2024, organizers have announced some new features. One is the new two-day “48H Chrono” stage. In this stage, drivers and co-drivers are largely on their own in the desert.

2024 Dakar Rally route

Dakar Rally Covers Almost 5,000 Miles in 14 Days

According to the drivers, co-drivers, and management of Team Audi Sport, a particularly challenging edition of the Dakar Rally lies ahead for all participants. The 2024 route has 12 special stages and covers 14 days. That’s a long competition. And it’s a long route, too. All total, competitors will drive almost 5,000 miles over the two weeks. That’s over 357 miles per day on average with most of those miles taking place off-road. The Audi team consists of three driver crews. They are comprised of Mattias Ekström and Emil Bergkvist, Stéphane Peterhansel and Edouard Boulanger, and Carlos Sainz with Lucas Cruz. Audi says that they are facing the most difficult task of the year with optimism, but also respect.

Edouard Boulanger, Stéphane Peterhansel, Emil Bergkvist, Mattias Ekström, Lucas Cruz, Carlos Sainz

Dakar Rally Participants by the Numbers

Audi says that there are 343 registered participants for the 46th edition of the Dakar Rally. They will start with 72 cars in the T1 and T2 classes, 42 additional models in the T3 class, 36 smaller SSV vehicles, 46 trucks, as well as 137 motorcycles and 10 quads.

Long Days of Competition

Dakar requires long days of driving. In fact, the previously mentioned 48-hour stage takes place on January 11 and 12. Its held in a seemingly endless sea of sand dunes and because motorcycles and quads are on a different route, the leading crews in the cars and trucks will have no tracks in the sand to follow over the two days. Additionally, no service is available for the teams, and they are only allowed to help each other. At night they are spread across multiple camps. Thus, they are unable to observe and evaluate the performance of other competitors. “This will be a big strategic challenge,” says Peterhansel’s co-driver Edouard Boulanger. “But the second week will also be tough, because this year the rocky stages only come at the end. Then things can still change.”

The 2024 Dakar Rally is the Third for the E-Tron

The Audi RS Q e-tron is facing its third Dakar Rally. Team Audi Sport has optimized the pioneering rally car prototype that has an electric drivetrain, a high-voltage battery, and an energy converter. Audi was the first manufacturer to develop a T1U model for the Dakar Rally. The aim was for an electrically powered prototype to prove that a low-emission vehicle can master one of the toughest motorsport events and be competitive at the same time. “The Audi RS Q e-tron rally car has already caused quite a stir in its first two Dakar appearances,” says Rolf Michl, Head of Audi Motorsport. “Audi was once again a technological pioneer in its outstanding motorsport history. We have initiated a paradigm shift. The combination of an electric drivetrain and a reFuel-powered energy converter is unique and very efficient.”

About the Audi RS Q E-Tron

The RS Q E-Tron uses a steel tube frame in combination with structural components in carbon/Zylon fiber composite. The vehicles are all-wheel drive and have an Audi MGU05 e-drivetrain on each axle. There’s a single-speed racing gearbox per axle, including a software-based limited-slip differential. The vehicle has a virtual center differential with selectable torque distribution on the front and rear axle. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine is coupled via a shaft to a generator. This generator charges the high-voltage battery system, which powers the drive motors. The battery system has a usable capacity of approximately 52 kWh. The car has independent suspension, a brake-by-wire system, and it rolls on BFGoodrich 37×12.50R17 tires with forged aluminum wheels. Inside the car, tech includes a Bosch DDU 10 display for driver and co-driver. Audi says that on a loose surface the car can accelerate from 0-62 mph in less than 4.5 seconds.

More About the RS Q E-Tron

Here’s more tech info on the RS Q e-tron. It has a length of 184 inches, a width of 91 inches, and a height of 77 inches. The weight of the car is 4,630 pounds. For size comparison, the RS Q e-tron’s length is similar to a 2023 Jeep Wrangler 4xe. However, the Audi is wider and taller than the 4xe. Feeding the 2.0L engine is a 90-gallon fuel tank. Top speed is limited to 106 mph. On-board voltages are 12, 48, and 800. There are two system control units, a Bosch ECU MS 7.4 and Bosch VCU MS 50.4P. Power management is handled by a Motec PDM32. Finally, there are four Bosch C 80 data loggers onboard.

The 2024 Audi RS Q E-Trons Have Received Updates

Compared to the RS Q e-trons that competed in 2023, the 2024 machines are improved in many areas. “The new set-up improves comfort and is also very efficient,” says Carlos Sainz. Sainz would know, he has optimized many rally cars in his almost 40 years as a professional driver. Mattias Ekström notes: “For me, it’s all about how we use the car perfectly in the sand. It helps that we can drive over the dunes without needing to change gears.” Many other new details reduce maintenance times for the team and make the prototype safer, more reliable, and more comfortable. It’s worth noting that Dakar Rally regulations limit the output of the electric drivetrain to 286 kW for the 2024 rally, distributed between the front and rear axles.

About Audi of America

Audi of America believes the future is electric. The company says that by 2025 the U.S. model lineup will be at least 30 percent electrified, including fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. In 2022, Audi sold 186,875 vehicles in the U.S. and sold more fully electric models than ever before.

This article was originally published by a www.offroadxtreme.com . Read the Original article here. .

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