Audi Sport and Q Motorsport continue to make progress in preparation for their rally debut Dakar Rally in January 2022 with another important step: the new Audi RS Q e-tron completed a tough eight-day endurance test under sweltering heat in Spain, carried out on gravel sections with characteristics similar to those usually found in cross-country rallies.
The first dynamic tests that were carried out in Neuburg on the Danube On June 30, they were a touchstone to check the general operation of the innovative Audi RS Q e-tron.
Later came the tests aimed at gathering data in a real test on unpaved terrain, which took place in mid-July in Magdeburg. And the next step has been first test in real conditions, which has been carried out in recent days in an area near the Spanish city of Zaragoza.
Audi Sport has had its three pairs for the tests, which have been carried out in Aragon. The Dakar record holder, Stéphane Peterhansel, and his co-pilot, Edouard boulanger, were in charge of the first two days of testing, which took place from Friday, July 30 to Sunday, August 1. Mattias Ekström y Emil bergkvist they took control of the new raid car for the next two days; Y Carlos Sainz y Lucas Cruz They concluded the intense preparatory work from Wednesday the 4th to Friday the 6th of August.
Drivers from all three teams were impressed with the futuristic SUV's handling and reliability on the fast gravel sections. "To be a first test, I am very happy with how the car behaves already", highlighted Carlos Sainz on behalf of his colleagues. “The sensations have been very good from the beginning. Of course, we have to advance in the set-up, but the starting point is good ”.
On gravel sections up to 17 kilometers in length, the Audi RS Q e-tron reached a top speed of 180 km / h. In addition, the high temperatures, with 34 degrees Celsius in the shade, have been a first litmus test for the cooling concept of the sophisticated electrically powered vehicle.
"This test has focused on doing as many kilometers as possible and detecting weak points", he claimed Arnau Niubó Bosch, Audi development engineer, after more than 1.700 km traveled in extremely harsh conditions. "The next tests that we will carry out in September will take us to the dunes for the first time."
The Audi RS Q e-tron uses a fully electric powertrain, with two motor-generator units (MGU) sourced from the Formula E. The high-voltage battery, recently developed by Audi Sport, is recharged while driving via an energy converter formed by the efficient DTM TFSI engine and a third MGU unit.