Audi’s goals for competing with them in the most challenging conferences around the world using electric car started 15 months ago with white paper. The company shut down its old team in the late 1980s, and in its acceptance, due to a shortage of staff, has lost almost all of the information it gained during Audi’s World Rally Championship in 1982 and 1984.
The Dakar Summit is a punished roadless event. The gaps for each stage can travel up to 900 kilometers (560 miles) per day. The transit area is much more durable than it is at regular meetings, so cars have to be built to do the job – self-modified vehicles cannot pass through.
The race began in December 1977, following the loss of Thierry Sabine in the desert of Ténéré in the 1975 “Cote-Cote” Abidjan-Nice. In this unprepared competition, he decided that the desert would make a good place for regular competition. About 182 cars were the starting point for the opening ceremony in Paris. Only 74 passed the 10,000 km (6,200 miles) crossing the Sahara to the Senegalese capital Dakar.
As a result of the epidemic, without the ability to test any weapons in athletics, Audi’s target for this year’s return to rally was just to finish Dakar. However, in the middle of the incident, all three vehicles were still alive, and the team won the 636 km third stage with veteran Carlos Sainz driving the car, aged 59. “It’s amazing and everything. It’s moving,” a team spokesman told WIRED.
First of all, the Audi 2022 Dakar race does not have much in common with your family car. RS Q e-tron is a large Tonka Toy, 4.5 meters long and 2 meters wide. Underneath the Darth Vader bodywork is a tubular frame, lined with carbon panels and battery pack, three electric motors, and an oil engine. It is safe to assume that nothing will drive in the street near you.
So why is Audi doing this? It is part of Dakar’s popularity, of course: Since its inception, this event has been a reminder of the journey and the love of the desert. After fleeing from Paris to Dakar, the incident moved to South America in 2008 following the terrorist attacks in North Africa. Despite the relocation, the name was still there, and in 2019 the Dakar relocated, this time to Saudi Arabia, with the aim of trying to recapture what happened in the desert. Winning Dakar is still popular, with 2022 and Audi’s first attempt.
But besides this, Audi is determined to be the type that needs electricity and wants to win the Dakar with battery power. This is very difficult, because the competitors have to finish up to 600 miles a day, passing through the most remote places in the world. They don’t see camels, don’t worry about the EV charger.
But what Audi sees is a chance-trial experiment with an old recurring concept: range extender. This is a battery-powered electric car that also has an oil engine, which works like an electric motor. The engine does not drive wheels, it only saves water batteries while driving. Ten years ago, the various additions were the “future”: Vauxhall (Buick in the US) and BMW both provided them, while Audi developed a thinking car.