Audi will field an EV with energy converter for the world’s toughest rally in 2022.
The Audi Dakar race vehicle will use an electric drivetrain with a high-voltage battery and an energy converter, hailing their return to rally. There is no word on the performance numbers on this system. Nor did they release any information on what their “highly efficient” energy converter actually is. The announcement follows Audi’s planned end to factory-backed Formula E next year. The 2021 Dakar, along with Audi’s return to Le Manse, took the motorsports world by surprise.
No stranger to rallying – or winning
In the early years of Group B rally racing, the automaker won several races including manufacturer’s and driver championships. From 1981 tp 1985 Audi Quattro rally race vehicles won 23 races. Fans felt that the Quattro S1, or a version of it, would compete in the Paris-Dakar rally. Unfortunately, it never came to pass. The 1984 Paris-Dakar did feature a Porsche 953 driven by René Metge and Dominique Lemoyne – which won.
With their past rally experience, hybrid racing heritage and the automaker’s connection to high-powered EV racing, this announcement seems logical.
“Audi is the first car manufacturer that has committed to develop a viable alternative drive concept for the Dakar Rally, making it a pioneer in motorsport once again,” the company said. “In 2012, Audi achieved the first victory of a hybrid racing car in the Le Mans 24 Hours. The Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro remained unbeaten in the world’s most important endurance race three times in a row.”
The Audi Dakar racer may be competing against the hydrogen electric GCK e-Blast 1.