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Test laboratory in the desert

Audi RS Q e-tron

Clear the stage for an electrifying high-tech test laboratory: just under a year after the initial concept idea, Audi Sport has started testing the new Audi RS Q e-tron, with which Audi will take on one of the greatest challenges there is in international racing in January 2022: the Dakar Rally. Audi wants to be the first car manufacturer to use an electrified drivetrain in combination with an efficient energy converter to compete for overall victory against conventionally-powered competitors in one of the world’s toughest rallies.

Audi RS Q e-tron

Motor generator units


one on each axle and one as energy converter


less than



from 0 to 100 km/h on loose surfaces

Top speed



limited by the regulations

Highlights of the Audi RS Q e-tron

Audi RS Q e-tron

Audi RS Q e-tron

The distinguishing aspects of the Audi RS Q e-tron:

  • Futuristic prototype with innovative drivetrain concept
  • High-voltage battery is charged while driving via an energy converter
  • Three motor-generator unit (MGU), one on each axle and one part of the energy converter
  • The battery weighs about 370 kilograms and has a capacity of around 50 kWh
  • The efficient combustion engine has a specific consumption of below 200 grams per kWh
Audi RS Q e-tron

Because there are no charging opportunities in the desert, Audi has chosen an innovative charging concept: On board of the Audi RS Q e-tron, there is the highly efficient TFSI engine from the DTM. It is part of an energy converter that charges the high-voltage battery while driving. Since the combustion engine is operated in the particularly efficient range of between 4,500 and 6,000 rpm, the specific consumption is well below 200 grams per kWh.

The drivetrain of the Audi RS Q e-tron is electric. The front and rear axles are both fitted with a motor-generator unit (MGU) from the current Audi e-tron FE07 Formula E car. Only minor modifications had to be made to use the MGU in the Dakar Rally.

A third MGU, of identical design, is part of the energy converter and serves to recharge the high-voltage battery while driving. In addition, energy is recuperated during braking. The battery weighs about 370 kilograms and has a capacity of around 50 kWh.

in Detail

Audi RS Q e-tron
Audi RS Q e-tron

Technical data

  Audi RS Q e-tron
Vehicle type Cross-Country Rally Car (Category T1E – alternative drivetrains)
Chassis Steel tube frame in combination with structural components in carbon/cylon fiber composite
Drivetrain All-wheel drive with electrically driven axles 
E-drivetrains on the axles One Audi MGU05 from Formula E per axle 
Output Total system power under 300 kW*
Transmission One single-speed racing gearbox per axle, including limited-slip differential (software-based), virtual center differential with freely selectable torque distribution on front and rear axle
Battery High Voltage Battery System (HVBS), approx. 370 kg (wet), lithium-ion cells, usable battery capacity approx. 52 kWh, charging with max. 220 kW while driven through energy converter
Energy converter 2.0 liter four-cylinder turbo engine from the DTM coupled via a shaft with a generator (Audi MGU05 from Formula E) Speed- and torque-controlled generator operation at the energy converter’s maximum efficiency with intelligent battery charging and energy management
Tyres BF Goodrich front/rear 37x12,5 R17 
Dimensions 4,500 / 2,300 / 1,950
Length / Width / Height (mm)
Minimum weight 2,000 kg without drivers*
Fuel tank capacity Max. 295 liters
0–100 km/h Less than 4.5 seconds (on loose surface) 
Top speed   Limited to max. 170 km/h by regulations*
  *Regulations not finalized
Audi RS Q e-tron
Audi RS Q e-tron

Dakar 07/23/2021

“We are excited by the extreme”

In January 2022, Audi will compete in the legendary Dakar Rally. At the presentation of the specially developed RS Q e-tron¹, Julius Seebach, Managing Director of Audi Sport, discusses the legend of the rally, the allure of the extreme, and the courage to try something new.

Read more

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