Audi is enhancing the RS Q e-tron for its upcoming participation in the Dakar Rally, introducing innovations across various aspects of the rally prototype.
The modifications aim to enhance safety, reliability, comfort, performance and maintenance efficiency for the Audi driver crews participating in January 2024, comprising Mattias Ekström/Emil Bergkvist, Stéphane Peterhansel/Edouard Boulanger and Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz.
Safety remains a priority, with improvements focused on minimizing vertical acceleration during jumps and enhancing the protection of occupants after accidents. Adjustments include updates to the chassis, springs and dampers, which enable “optimum control of the platform” and changes to the seat foam, which has enabled a better distribution of loads on the driver and co-driver.
Reliability enhancements address details such as stone penetration between the rim bed, brake disc and upright. New fastening elements and robust rims with stronger sidewalls help prevent damage, ensuring more straightforward wheel changes.
Comfort improvements involve optimizing acoustic shielding and cockpit sealing, with a modified front hood to repel mud and water, maintaining a cleaner windshield.
Optimization of shock absorbers, springs and components such as the rear hood and brake calipers contribute to increased competitiveness. Changes in regulations also impact power-to-weight ratios, with a rise to 286kW and an increase in the permitted weight of opponents’ T1 models.
Efficiency in maintenance is addressed through practical solutions, including modified bolted connections, improved tool holders, and optimized filling cap devices, streamlining daily maintenance during rally events.
Rolf Michl, MD, Audi Sport, expressed confidence in the team’s preparation: “Our engineering team has improved the RS Q e-tron even further with many creative solutions. Drivers and co-drivers, as well as all of the mechanics and engineers, benefit from the imaginative ideas. We feel that we are prepared for the Dakar Rally in the best possible way.”
The changes have been incorporated and tested since the middle of the year, ensuring readiness for the 2024 Dakar Rally.