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Audi RS Q e-tron Aims to Win the 2024 Dakar Rally

The 2024 Dakar Rally will See the Audi RS Q e-tron with an Improved Electric Drivetrain.

Audi is not giving up on its ambitious goal of conquering the world’s toughest desert rally with an electric drivetrain. The Audi RS Q e-tron, the innovative prototype that debuted at the Dakar Rally in 2022, has received several improvements for its third outing in 2024. The new version of the rally car, which features a high-voltage battery and an energy converter, promises to be safer, more reliable, more comfortable, and more competitive than ever.

What is the Audi RS Q e-tron?

The Audi RS Q e-tron is a unique off-road vehicle that combines an electric drivetrain with an energy converter system based on the TFSI engine and a generator. The electric motors derived from Audi’s Formula E program provide a combined power of 286 kW (392 PS; 386 hp) to the front and rear axles. The energy converter, which uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, can charge the 52 kWh lithium-ion battery while driving, ensuring a sufficient energy supply for the long and demanding stages of the Dakar Rally.

Audi RS Q e-tron

The Audi RS Q e-tron is the first car manufacturer to use this innovative concept in the Dakar Rally, considered one of the greatest challenges in international motorsport. The rally covers over 10,000 kilometers (6,214 miles) in two weeks across various terrains and climates, from dunes to rocky mountains, from scorching heat to freezing cold. The rally also imposes strict regulations on the amount of fuel and tires each team can use and the time and resources available for maintenance and repairs.

What are the improvements for the 2024 Dakar Rally?

After its first two appearances at the Dakar Rally in 2022 and 2023, the Audi RS Q e-tron has shown its potential by scoring six stage victories and 22 other single-day podium results. However, the team also faced some setbacks and technical issues that prevented them from fighting for the overall win. Therefore, Audi Sport has analyzed the previous outings, identified the weak points, and implemented several improvements in five key areas:

  • Safety: The team has improved the safety of the drivers and co-drivers by reducing the peak vertical acceleration during landings after big jumps. The team also extended the carbon-fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) crash box at the front end of the chassis structure to better absorb the energy in case of a hard frontal landing or rollover.
  • Reliability: The team has increased the reliability of the wheel hubs by adding more clearance and protection from rocks that could get inside and damage the uprights, brake discs, and rim bed.
  • Comfort: The team has enhanced the comfort of the drivers and co-drivers by installing a new air conditioning system that can cope with the high temperatures and dust in the cockpit.
  • Weight: The team has reduced the weight of the Audi RS Q e-tron by using lighter materials and components, such as brake calipers, steering column, and wiring harness.
  • Maintenance: The team has simplified the maintenance and repair process by making some parts easier to access and replace, such as the high-voltage battery, the energy converter, and the electric motors.

How confident is Audi for the 2024 Dakar Rally?

Audi is confident that the Audi RS Q e-tron is ready for the 2024 Dakar Rally, which will take place from January 8 to 22 in Saudi Arabia. The team will field three cars with the same driver crews as in 2023: Mattias Ekström/Emil Bergkvist, Stéphane Peterhansel/Edouard Boulanger, and Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz. All three drivers have extensive experience and success in the Dakar Rally, with Peterhansel being the record holder with 14 titles, Sainz having three titles, and Ekström being the best rookie in 2022.

Audi RS Q e-tron

The Audi RS Q e-tron will face tough competition from other manufacturers and teams, such as Toyota, Prodrive, Mini, and SRT. The rally will also feature a new category for electric and hybrid vehicles, called T1.E, which will have its regulations and balance of performance.


The Audi RS Q e-tron is a remarkable vehicle that combines innovation, performance, and sustainability. The team has worked hard to improve the prototype for the 2024 Dakar Rally, which will be the ultimate test for the electric drivetrain. The team is confident that the Audi RS Q e-tron can compete for the overall win and prove that electric mobility is possible and desirable in the most extreme conditions.

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