Audi RS Q e-tron’s grueling tests part of marque’s electromobility development

Audi RS Q e-tron

Audi’s upcoming debut at the Dakar Rally is said to be a part of the brand’s development program toward electromobility as it targets to be completely carbon-neutral by 2050.

Recently, the Audi RS Q e-tron underwent a two-week testing program in the desert and sand dunes of Morocco, followed by similar development work in Germany and Spain.

Audi RS Q e-tron

Audi’s driver pairings for the Dakar Rally campaign — Stephane Peterhansel and Carlos Sainz, Mattias Ekstrom and Edouard Boulanger, Lucas Cruz and Emil Bergkvist — tested the prototype.

“Some of the conditions the test team encountered in Morocco were extreme — the thermometer climbed to well over 40 degrees Celsius at times,” Audi’s Q Motorsport division team principal Sven Quandt was quoted as saying.

Audi RS Q e-tron

“Sandstorms also hampered the testing. In addition, some new problems arose in the high temperatures, which repeatedly caused interruptions to the testing and needed to be solved before the next test.”

Quandt said that while they are expecting much lower temperatures at the Dakar Rally, Audi intentionally went to Morocco to test under the most extreme conditions.

Audi RS Q e-tron

According to them, components such as the motor-generator unit were basically not developed for use in such high ambient temperatures, but the drivetrain and other components were also pushed to their limits with the intense heat. He said that the learnings from the experience in Morocco showed that Audi still has a lot to do before the Dakar Rally.

The same model — although a different unit from the test prototype — is being readied by Audi Sport (the brand’s high-performance division) to compete in the aforementioned motorsport event. The brand added that the experience gained from the Dakar Rally challenge will then be applied in technologies for other upcoming fully electric e-tron production cars.

Photos from Audi

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