Audi’s Dakar Rally RS Q e-tron E2 very well may be the most important off-road racing car in history. The RS Q could be the bridge away from fossil fuel-driven engines to new, cleaner fuel sources. The remarkable vehicle combines a 2.0 liter four-cylinder turbo engine that burns ETG and e-methanol powering the two electric drives at the front and rear differential and charging the batteries. The system is also using Regenerative braking which contributes to keeping the car’s battery topped up on the move. With an estimated range of 232 miles, this system could be the answer to the range weakness in fully electric vehicles. The second generation of the Audi RS Q e-tron E2, this version is substantially lighter and has many improvements, especially in aerodynamics, an area that off-road race vehicles are historically terrible at. It’s interesting to see a manufacturer such as Audi leverage their knowledge in other forms of racing such as F1, Le Mans, and WRC to improve their World Rally Raid program, an effort I hope to see with American manufacturers. The RS Q e-tron E2 has already accomplish something no other hybrid in the world has, both winning 4 stages in last year’s Dakar Rally and winning the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. In only their 2nd Dakar Audi is clearly in contention to win 4-wheel vehicles overall, a feat that would add to their legacy of historical race wins.
4-wheel drive and weighing in at 4700 lbs the whole engine system generates a little over 670 horsepower, which was restricted to around 400bhp due to the balance-of-power regulation imposed by the A.S.O. in order to keep the competition fair. The Audi RS Q e-tron E2 boasts a 0-60 in roughly 4.5 seconds on dirt. The top speed is limited to 105.6359 mph via competition regulations.
This remarkable vehicle is built with a steel tube frame in combination with structural components in carbon/Zylon fiber composite. The travel is limited to roughly 10 inches per competition rules which is somewhat assisted by the relatively newly allowed 37-inch BFGoodrich Tires. the vehicle is reminiscent of the legendary Audi Sport quattro in its final development stage for Group B rallying in the 1980’s. A period of off-road racing that created shockwaves influencing automotive culture forever. We will see if Audi can once again seize the moment and make another mark on automotive culture.
Audi RS Q e-tron E2 Vehicle Specs:
|Vehicle Type:||Rally Raid Vehicle (Category T1U – alternative drivetrains)|
|Date Completed:||December 2021|
|Chassis:||Steel tube frame in combination with structural components in carbon/Zylon fiber composite|
|Weight:||2,100 kg without drivers – 4,630 lbs|
|Length:||4,670 mm – 184 inches – 15.4 feet|
|Track Width:||2,300 mm – 91 inches – 7.6 feet|
|Engine:||One Audi MGU05 from Formula E per axle
2.0 liter four-cylinder turbo engine from the DTM coupled via a shaft with a generator (Audi MGU05 from Formula E)
Speed- and torque-controlled generator operation at the energy converter’s maximum efficiency with intelligent battery charging and energy management.
|Battery:||High Voltage Battery System (HVBS), approx. 370 kg (wet), lithium-ion cells,usable battery capacity approx. 52 kWh, charging with max. 220 kW while driven through energy converter.|
|Transmission:||One single-speed racing gearbox per axle, including limited-slip differential. Software-based virtual center differential|
|Differential Drives:||One Audi MGU05 from Formula E per axle|
|Brakes:||Hydraulic dual-circuit braking system with one “brake-by-wire” system, each on the front and rear axles with brake force distribution freely selectable by the driver and electronically controlled recuperation performance, Light-alloy brake calipers, internally ventilated steel brake discs front and rear|
|Tires:||BFGoodrich KDR2 37” – 37×12,5 R17|
|Wheels:||Forged aluminum rims,front/rear: 8.5J x 17 inch|
|Steering:||Electro-hydraulically assisted rack and pinion steering system|
|Suspension:||Independent front and rear suspension, double wishbone suspension, spring/damper unit, adjustable gas pressure shock absorbers|
|System control units:||Bosch ECU MS 7.4, Bosch VCU MS 50.4P|
|Power management:||Motec PDM32|
|Data Logger:||Motec PDM32|
|Driver/Co-driver Display||2 x Bosch DDU 10|
|Lights:||LED headlights and tail lights|