Audi tests its plug-in hybrid RS Q E-Tron Dakar rally car

Audi organized its staff, its drivers and its cars and trucks for the 2022 version of the Dakar Rally by carrying out a sequence of exams in the Moroccan desert. Powered by a gasoline-electrical powertrain, the RS Q E-Tron sprinted, braked difficult, drifted and invested a ton of time in the air.

Dakar legends Stéphane Peterhansel and Carlos Sainz and extended-time touring motor vehicle racer Mattias Ekström took turns placing an RS Q E-Tron prototype via its paces in Morocco. Sand storms and a hundred-furthermore-degree temperatures tortured the powertrain it is really the desert, after all. Not anything went smoothly, which is unavoidable, but the staff would instead learn problems while testing than while racing.

“Some new problems arose in the substantial temperatures, which repeatedly triggered interruptions to the testing and needed to be solved before the upcoming examination,” stated Sven Quandt, the staff principal of Q Motorsport. All instructed, the staff invested two months south of the Mediterranean.

It sounds like substantially of the testing hovered close to the powertrain, which is composed of a TFSI motor sourced from Audi’s now-shuttered DTM touring motor vehicle staff and established up to charge a fifty-kilowatt-hour battery pack on-the-go. It operates between four,500 and six,000 rpm. Electric power reaches the four wheels by way of a pair of electrical motors borrowed from Audi’s Formula E cars and trucks, while a 3rd motor allows charge the battery. It is really a relatively complicated technique some of the elements are off-the-shelf elements, but the battery was produced particularly for the RS Q E-Tron.

One more place that was fine-tuned all through the exams is ergonomics. Race cars and trucks are created for effectiveness, not consolation, but quirks like an odd seating position, lousy visibility, and a cramped cabin can bring about the drivers and the copilot to drop precious seconds. Audi therefore produced tiny but considerable modifications to the cockpit to carve out a lot more space for the crew and allow for for far better conversation.

“The insights we gained in Morocco is invaluable, but they also show us that we continue to have a ton to do before the Dakar Rally, and there is not substantially time left,” concluded Andreas Roos, the head of factory motorsport jobs at Audi Sport. He is correct: the race starts in January 2022.

Audi Sport will carry on testing the RS Q E-Tron in a range of ailments and areas in the coming months. In the meantime, personnel at its facility in Germany have started out setting up a person of the two cars and trucks that will contend in the race. It wears chassis selection 104. Fanatics will be in a position to see the duo in action all through the 2022 Dakar Rally, which starts in starts on January 2 in Ha’il, Saudi Arabia, and ends in Jeddah 12 times later on. In the dunes, the RS Q E-Tron will will need to fend off level of competition from a numerous checklist of competitors such as the BRX Hunter.

Interestingly, some of the classes learned while testing the Dakar racer in Morocco and somewhere else will trickle down to creation cars and trucks in the coming yrs. Audi is notably getting useful information about running a substantial-voltage battery pack’s temperature in serious ailments.

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