Audi progresses on the path to your rally debut Dakar Rally, something that will be effective in the 2022 edition that will take place Saudi Arabia. The concept of the innovative prototype that will be used for the toughest raid in the world is almost complete and the first tests will be carried out in the middle of this year. Andreas roos, responsible for the successful program of Audi Sport at DTM, will be in charge of managing the project.
“With the Dakar project, we at Audi remain faithful to our philosophy of turning for the first time in motorsport to new technologies that are pioneering for future production cars”, said Julius SeebachDirector of Audi Motorsport GmbH and responsible for all the activities of the brand in competition.
“In rallies, for example, it was the quattro drive; and now we will test components for future electric powertrains in extreme conditions at the Dakar rally. At the same time, we will offer exciting experiences to customers and fans. ", Agregó.
For his part, Roos, responsible for the Dakar project, states: “It is a great challenge for the whole team. We have a very tight schedule to test our innovative concept. We are the first car manufacturer to tackle the Dakar with an electric powertrain. We are working hard to be ready in time for the Dakar 2022 ”.
The innovative prototype uses the motor-generator unit (MGU) of the electric single-seater that Audi has developed from scratch for the 2021 season of the Formula E. In the case of the Dakar car, they will be used three electric motors.
"We will have one MGU on the front axle and one on the rear, while a third unit will be used as a generator to charge the high-voltage battery while driving."explains Roos.
"Of course, it will be necessary to make modifications, because the desert poses different challenges than those of the urban circuits in which we currently compete in Formula E: jumps, sand, very long stages ... But we can take advantage of our experience, both in Formula E , as in our Le Mans prototypes with the e-tron quattro ".
Audi is also developing the high voltage battery. In the Formula E, the battery comes from a specific supplier for all equipment. Power to charge the battery is supplied by the four-way TFSI engine cylinders used in the DTM. "This engine is incredibly efficient and is at the forefront in terms of weight and consumption"adds Roos. “The important thing is that the propulsion system is totally electric. The TFSI engine is only used to charge the battery in the special stages while driving, since there is no other way to do it in the desert. ".
"The Dakar is unique, and one of the greatest adventures in the world"declare Sven Quandt, who will lead the operations at the Dakar rally with his team Q Motorsport together with Audi Sport. "I am convinced that a brand has much to gain by participating in the Dakar rally, especially if it chooses an innovative path such as the electric propulsion that Audi has opted for."
"Having a good ally is key to success in motor racing", says Seebach. “With Q Motorsport we have a partner who has proven Dakar experience. We plan to present our line-up of drivers, who are also very important, next May ”.
Audi Sport is already building the first prototype for the Dakar in Neuburg an der Donau. The presentation is scheduled for the end of June, followed by the world premiere in July. An intensive testing phase will then take place before the Dakar Rally, to be held in January 2022.