The Gas-Electric Audi RS Q E-tron Gears Up To Take On The 2022 Dakar Rally: News

The gasoline engine acts as a generator to charge the battery, while electric motors drive the wheels

(Images: Audi)

While the race-bread Audi RS Q e-tron, was never meant for production, it still looks like a badass.

Just like the early dominance of the original Quattro racing cars, this Audi RS Q e-tron is packed with next-level technology. A prototype has already been deployed near Neuburg an der Donau Germany in early July 2021. Motorsport Design at Audi is responsible for this vehicle, which is not strictly an all-electric vehicle.

The Audi RS Q e-tron has Volkswagen’s Group venerable 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (from an Audi DTM car) working as a generator. This 2.0-liter will not be connected to the wheels at all. It will power a 50-kWh battery pack which will feed two electric motors from the e-tron FE07 Formula E racer. That racer makes 670 horsepower, but it sounds like like they may back off a bit on power to extend the range. That said, Audi hasn’t confirmed that last part just yet.

The design and engineering are all pointed at one direction – to be the first electric vehicle to win the Dakar. That’s a tall order, as it is one of the most challenging long-distance races out there. There have been a lot of challenges along the way, and the vehicle is less than six months away from its 2022 Dakar battle.

We covered the original announcement of the racer back in November 2020.


“This project’s schedule is extremely packed and challenging. Less than twelve months have passed since the project officially started. We had to begin the development while the regulations for alternatively-powered vehicles had not even been finalized yet. And all of the development took place during the Corona pandemic. You mustn’t underestimate that either. What the team has achieved so far is unique. The roll-out was a very special moment for everyone.”

Andreas Roos, Dakar project manager at Audi Sport

We will keep an eye on this one!

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.