Audi Sport held its second test in Morocco in preparation for the Dakar Rally. During the tests, teams of Mattias Ekström/Emil Bergkvist, Stéphane Peterhansel/Edouard Boulanger and Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz took turns in the cockpit of the Audi RS Q e-tron.
Audi's tests with the prototype of the RS Q e-tron models that will compete in the Dakar Rally continue uninterruptedly. The Audi Sport team held its second test in a Moroccan region of fast tracks, gravel roads, dunes and dried up riverbeds.
Developed in an extremely short time of just over twelve months, the RS Q e-tron can now comfortably complete daily terrain distances, which in tests are equivalent to the length of a Dakar stage. However, there are also many issues that need to be resolved before the start in January. Stating that the energy of the entire team is focused on continuing the development process under the most challenging conditions, Head of Test Engineering Arnau Niubo said, “The same day feedback to Neuburg of the important findings we obtained in the tests in Morocco was very impressive. In this way, our three rally cars under construction for the Dakar Rally will be technically ready for the race. At the same time, logistics preparations continue at full speed.” he spoke.
Competing against time and difficulties in the supply of individual components due to the ongoing pandemic, the team started an intense program. The three competing teams tested the prototype chassis number 103 for a total of more than 2 kilometers in the toughest terrain. In addition to various system tests, tests in which artificially high temperatures were applied to the RS Q e-tron were also carried out. Stéphane Peterhansel led the desert racer across a dry riverbed, covering the air cooling inlets with tape to simulate high outside temperatures. The electric propulsion prototype with energy converter was able to complete this course without any problems. However, on the rocky track that Mattias Ekström tested, the vehicle suffered tire damage and the tests were disrupted. The bent damper wishbone, driveshaft, and other related components had to be replaced. Minor repairs were also needed in the superstructure. The free three pilots also spent a lot of time on the chassis setup.