RIYADH, Saudi Arabia—The Dakar Rally is one of the most famous off-road races in the world. The two-week event in early January is held among huge sand dunes and desert terrain.
Several electric vehicles tackled this year’s grueling event, including a team of Audi RS Q e-trons. The automobile class is one of five vehicle categories alongside dune buggies, motorcycles, quads and trucks.
“The Dakar Rally is the biggest conceivable challenge for our innovative electric drive with high-voltage battery and high-efficiency energy converter,” says Julius Seebach, managing director of Audi Sport GmbH. “Never before have we [developed] such a complex vehicle in such a short time. Our first endurance test under competitive conditions is the world’s longest and most demanding rally.”
All three RS Q e-tron cars completed the 2022 rally, which covered approximately 24,000 kilometers. They competed in the new T1 Ultimate class for low-emission vehicles.
“Our driver teams won four stages and clinched a total of 14 podium results in the daily classifications,” explains Seebach. “This clearly [exceeded] our expectations. Audi is thus the first team to achieve a stage victory with an electric drive concept. After this performance, overall victory at the next Dakar Rally is our goal.”