The tough and tumble world of rallying became one of the first vital proving grounds for how electric vehicles would fare in motorsports. With events such as Extreme E, it’s become a place where the car industry could put their EV tech and powertrains to the breaking point. Hey, if it could work well in an Arctic storm, surely it’ll manage the school run, right? Audi’s RS Q e-tron will be just that, but hotter.
Specifically, they’re bringing the Quattro name to the desert. Back in January, the RS Q e-tron made a debut at the Dakar Rally. As far as first impressions go, that was a pretty strong one, having clinched four stage victories for Audi and their rallying partner, Q Motorsport. So, having conquered the rough and unforgiving Dakar, one does wonder, where will Audi take the RS Q e-tron to be baptised next?
Baptism By Fire
Well, why not contest the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge? After all, it’s right up there in terms of difficulty as the Dakar. The man behind the wheel will be Stéphane Peterhansel, who’s won this even 7-times prior. And, he’ll be joined by Edouard Boulanger, as his co-driver. There’ll be a lot to go through this coming March 6th to 10th. In total, the entire length of the rally will stretch to just over 1,933km.
That includes liaison stages and timed sections. For the stages themselves, you’re still looking at more than 1,342km. It features a punishing distance of 217km to 318km for each daily stage. They’ll be put to the ultimate test, as the terrain here is warmer and softer than in the Dakar. Will Audi and its uber-EV, with its high-voltage battery and electric energy converter drivetrain fare just as well?