Images courtesy of Audi
The Dakar Rally 2022 was a welcome return to motorsports after the COVDI-19 pandemic. Among the notable developments prior to the race was the participation of Audi’s green 4x4s. The grueling endurance race provided valuable insight as to what needs to be tweaked. Therefore, we now have the RS Q e-Tron E2.
The German marque’s latest hybrid racer is packing the necessary upgrades to compete once again in the 2023 installment of the legendary competition. Previous reports cited several issues that caused the outgoing model to finish with four stage wins only. Still, the new version of their electric platform seems promising.
Press materials claim the RS Q e-Tron E2 is “more aerodynamic and even more efficient.” The carmaker is retaining the original’s hybrid powertrain which outfits each axle with an electric motor for a total output of about 670 horsepower.
Then there’s the ICE 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder TFSI engine. The latter only functions as a generator to recharge the batteries.
What’s different is the bodywork which features a complete rework. Chief Designer of the RS Q e-Tron E2 Axel Löffler says, “we are now doing away with the underflow of the rear hood to the left and right of the B-pillars. In conjunction with modified lay-ups, i.e. optimized fabric layers of the composite materials, this solution reduces weight.”
Since the rally car’s predecessor was somewhat overweight, Audi’s team is targeting 4,630 pounds for the successor. The cockpit size is now larger and meets the new T1U regulations. The RS Q e-Tron E2 will see action at the Rally du Maroc in Morocco in October and at the Dakar Rally 2023 which starts this December.
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