Audi’s New RS Q E-Tron Off-Roader Takes Extreme to the Next Level - story fullscreen Fullscreen

Audi’s New RS Q E-Tron Off-Roader Takes Extreme to the Next Level

Audi’s 2022 Dakar Rally racer is an experiment in brutal design and impressive performance

Audi is planning to participate in the 2022 Dakar Rally with what has to be one of the most extreme off-roaders we’ve seen so far this year. The RS Q E-Tron is an EV, yet there’s also a TFSI gasoline engine borrowed from DTM that serves as a range generator that will allow it to run constantly without charging. If this is the reason Audi decided to ditch Formula E, then I have to admit that I whole-heartedly agree with its decision.

Audi's New RS Q E-Tron Off-Roader Takes Extreme to the Next Level
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Following the reveal of the R8 LMS GT3 EVO II race car, Audi quietly revealed its new Dakar racer – the RS Q E-Tron. This car is destined for the Dakar Rally in 2022, but what is more important is the powertrain. Each axle is fitted with an electric motor adapted from the 2021 Audi E-Tron FE07 Formula E car, but that’s only a small part of the equation. This off-road beast also features a TFSI gasoline engine borrowed from DTM that serves a range-extender of sorts and is an important part of the energy converter system.

Audi's New RS Q E-Tron Off-Roader Takes Extreme to the Next Level
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According to Audi, the gasoline engine runs between 4,500 and 6,000 rpm which is said to be a “particularly efficient range” with total emissions output being less than 200 grams of CO2 for every kWh fed to the battery. This turbocharged, 2.0-liter engine sucks gas from a 275-liter fuel tank positioned behind the driver and between the front and rear axles. Ahead of this, the energy converter also has a motor-generator unit (MGU) that recharges the battery when the Q E-Tron is being pushed hard.

Audi's New RS Q E-Tron Off-Roader Takes Extreme to the Next Level
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The battery itself is rated at 50 kW and weighs in at 815 pounds.

The total output delivered from the powertrain is 500 kW or 670 horsepower, but it should be noted that the vehicle has to weigh at least 2,000 kg or 4,409 pounds to be eligible for the Dakar Rally.

As of now, the RS Q E-Tron has already had its first outing, but Audi is putting it through an extensive testing program through the end of the year, which will apparently include entries in various cross-country rallies.

Audi RS Q E-Tron Specifications
Engine  2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine
Horsepower  671 horses
Battery Capacity 50 kWh
Fuel-Tank Capacity 72.6 gallons
Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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