The Audi RS Q e-tron (2022) has « eaten sand » in Morocco

In preparation for its debut at Dakar 2022, Audi Sport tested its new all-electric RS Q e-tron for almost two weeks in Morocco under the most extreme conditions.

After tests in Germany and Spain, the team of the builder to the rings recently headed towards the desert and the Moroccan dunes to test his future combat weapon with a view to Dakar 2022. The Dream Team from Audi, Stéphane Peterhansel (Edouard Boulanger), Carlos Sainz (Lucas Cruz) and Mattias Ekström (Emil Bergkvist) took turns at the wheel of the prototype for almost two weeks.

“For the test in Morocco, we made changes so that the pilot and his co-pilot have more space in the cockpit and can also communicate better with each other. The reactions have been positive ”, Explain Andreas Roos, head of motorsport projects at Audi Sport.

Tests in extreme conditions

Some of the conditions encountered in Morocco were to say the least extreme. « The thermometer has climbed well beyond 40 degrees at times », explains Sven Quandt, director of Q Motorsport. “Sandstorms also hampered testing. As expected, some problems arose with the high temperatures, which caused repeated interruptions in testing. « 

Race against time

« We expect much lower temperatures during the Dakar », Roos continues. “Nevertheless, we deliberately went to Morocco to test our concept under the most extreme conditions. Components like the MGU, for example, were not developed for use at such high ambient temperatures, but the drivetrain and other components have also been pushed to their limits, if not beyond, by the heat. The knowledge acquired in Morocco is invaluable, but it also shows us that we still have a lot to do before the Dakar and that there is not much time left. « 

A technological bridge between sport and the road

The battery, developed specifically for the rally-raid high mass, is also a major subject. “It’s about optimally managing the temperature to maximize performance,” Roos explains. “This is where we learn with every test. And that’s exactly why we go into the wilderness with an electrified drivetrain: We gain an incredible amount of experience that we share with our fellow road cars. « 

In parallel with its tests, Audi Sport in Neuburg an der Donau has already started to build the first chassis (104) intended for competition. « The test car is a prototype in which everything was not yet perfectly adapted », Explain Benedikt Brunninger, Audi Sport project manager for the Dakar. “In the case of real competition cars, we aim for absolute perfection in terms of set-up. « 

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