Audi has built a new rally racer that’s better than ever. None of the previous models have ever combined o gasoline and electric power.
Rally races that are done in Dakar style require a much longer driving range than what a typical electric powertrain can offer. Audi came up with an interesting solution called the RS Q E-Tron. This Audi rally car is a hybrid off-road machine that uses both electricity and gasoline power to give a drive the range needed to complete an entire racing stage which sometimes exceeds 500 miles.
What Does the RS Q E-Tron Offer?
The electric power for this Audi comes from a 52-kWh battery pack which produces 386 horsepower. This horsepower number is limited by the Dakar rules. The battery pack is charged by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This engine is only used to charge the batteries, which allows this racing vehicle to continue to drive for an entire race stage without the need to refuel either the gas tank or recharge the batteries fully. These two systems working together give rally teams something new and interesting to drive when its time to head out on the challenging terrains of many Dakar tracks.
This Audi Isn’t a Heavy Driver
In recent testing of this new Audi Rally Racer, the driver learned quickly that they could get back on the throttle sooner than expected and that this car doesn’t steer heavily. In fact, Audi perfected the steering system of the RS Q E-Tron to the point that it steers like a lightweight sports car on the road. This is a vehicle made to point and go where desired, unlike some other Dakar rally models that feel heavy and cumbersome when driving on the desert track.
Regenerative Braking and an Unsettling Engine
Some race drivers use the engine noises of their vehicle to feel more connected to the car and drive it better. That’s not possible with this Audi. The gasoline engine is programmed to come on at a specified level of remaining electric battery charge. This engine is loud and it doesn’t rev with the acceleration, which is something a driver has to get used to when driving this impressive off-road vehicle. There is a regenerative braking system, but it can be turned off to give racers a more natural feeling during a race.
The Audi RS Q E-Tron is Amazing
While it might only be the first true example of how gasoline and electric power can make racing more exciting for teams, there is sure to be other models to come. This Audi Rally Racer is an amazing car that delivers an impressive drive with a few things that experienced racers will need to get used to before committing to it. Some will say they’d rather drive a car that only uses either gasoline or electric power but not both. That said, there may be others that enjoy everything this amazing car brings to the drive.
Would you like to race the Audi RS Q E-Tron? You won’t be able to drive this car unless your part of a rally team, but this Audi Rally Racer might be something we see more often in the future.