Audi is upgrading its RS Q e-tron E2 hybrid for the upcoming Saudi Dakar

Audi is upgrading its RS Q e-tron E2 hybrid for the upcoming Saudi Dakar


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After the first study participation during the Saudi “Dakar”, Audi Sport gave birth to the second version of its plug-in hybrid car, the RS Q e-tron E2. The duo of Peterhansel-Boulanger are now aiming for victory.

AUDI RS Q ETRON E2 AUDI SPORT DAKAR 2023 BOULANGER PETERHANSEL

Audi Sport at the Saudi Dakar 2023 with a new buggy, the RS Q e-tron E2.

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

In December 2021, Audi Sport, the sports division of the German manufacturer, created a sensation with the RS Q e-tron, a hybrid buggy with an electric engine (680 hp, reduced to 400 hp by regulation) and a gasoline generator. to charge the battery.

This buggy involved in the legendary event of the Paris-Dakar rally (but taking place in the Saudi desert) had shown excellent behavior, despite the lack of speed and weak suspension. Carlos Sainz’s crew had won two out of 12 and had managed to finish in the top three over seven stages. For the first time, this Audi buggy came out of it with dignity and gave the image of a good gentleman.

AUDI RS Q ETRON E2 AUDI SPORT DAKAR 2023 BOULANGER PETERHANSEL

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

So Audi Sport is back to work with the newly announced RS Q e-tron E2, without any changes to the cars handling. The biggest changes concern the bodywork where all the extraneous elements have been removed, especially in the rear. The final style evolves with a silhouette heavily inspired by manta rays.

AUDI RS Q ETRON E2 AUDI SPORT DAKAR 2023 BOULANGER PETERHANSEL
AUDI RS Q ETRON E2 AUDI SPORT DAKAR 2023 BOULANGER PETERHANSEL

Engineers thus achieved 15% on the car’s aerodynamics. As a result, the buggy weighs 2.1 t (compared to 2 t in 2021) without pilots, i.e. the new minimum weight set by the electric rally car regulations. The handicapper has the talent to upset Édouard Boulanger, assistant engineer to Stéphane Peterhansel, who does not understand this penalty given as the future of motorsport is moving towards electrification.

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AUDI RS Q ETRON E2 AUDI SPORT DAKAR 2023 BOULANGER PETERHANSEL

Édouard Boulanger, co-pilot of Stéphane Peterhansel.

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

In terms of operation, there are no major changes since the manufacturer has installed two electric motors from Formula E and placed them on each axle. As for the generator, it is a 2 l turbo engine from the DTM championship, responsible for supplying a battery with a capacity of 52 kWh and a weight of 370 kg. The total power is 288 kW (392 hp) at a maximum speed of 170 km / h. The meeting of the hybrid hybrid, therefore, we find in Nissan and Honda.

The heat engine does not drive the wheels, but a generator (MGU) was used to charge a high-voltage (800 V) lithium-ion battery weighing 370 kg. This powers two electric motors (MGU) mounted on each axle, which are not connected to each one as in a conventional electric car. It’s a local program – fully configurable – that “takes the torque distribution between the axles and thus creates a common center differential”.

Improved climate control and automatic expansion of functions

Another major change occurs at the level of the cockpit, which takes volume, but its availability needs to change. Not Stéphane Peterhansel, 14-time Dakar winner (car and motorcycle), who will tell you otherwise. The new cabin now benefits from a three-vent air conditioner, one of which cools the backs of the pilot and co-pilot.

AUDI RS Q ETRON E2 AUDI SPORT DAKAR 2023 BOULANGER PETERHANSEL

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

Finally, part of the program has been reviewed and improved following the collection of data collected during the two previous meetings. Now, many tasks have been automated, allowing drivers to focus solely on the wheel.

The next step is the Moroccan rally

Nothing beats a field test to prove all these technical contributions. Therefore, at the beginning of October, the Moroccan rally will take place, the venue of Dakar, where the Audi RS Q e-tron E2 car will be present with its three employees: Stéphane Peterhansel / Édouard Boulanger, Mattias Eksström / Emil Bergkvist. and Carlos Sainz / Lucas Cruz. Then, go to Saudi Arabia at the end of 2022, where the adventure began.

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