The Audi RS Q e-tron won its first desert rally in Abu Dhabi in March 2022, and the second edition of the model is now available. The innovative prototype has been greatly improved and is now ready for the 2022 Morocco Rally and the 2023 Dakar Rally. The all-new bodywork optimizes weight and aerodynamics, and new operating strategies boost the electric powertrain's efficiency. Drivers and co-pilots can benefit from more straightforward operation in the cabin and when changing wheels. Following these enhancements, the Audi RS Q e-tron is now known as the Audi RS Q e-tron E2.
"The Audi RS Q e-tron E2 shares no body parts with its predecessor," says Axel Löffler, Chief Designer for the RS Q e-tron. To meet the prescribed cabin dimensions, the cockpit, which was previously drawn in tightly around the ceiling, has been significantly widened. The front and rear flaps have also been redesigned. We have now de-selected the tailgate underflow to the left and right of the B-pillars. This solution results in a lower weight due to optimized fabric layers for the materials explains Löffler. In the future, T1U prototypes will likely weigh 2,100 kg rather than 2,000 kg. But, since the first generation, the Audi RS Q e-tron was still too heavy; it was all about saving a few kilos. It also works well with lowering the car's center of gravity.
The aerodynamic concept under the flaps and doors in the body is entirely new. Audi has now decided to remove the screen section behind the front wheels and form the transition to the door. This structure is known internally as the "elephant foot." In this way, the designers save weight while optimizing airflow, which results in a 15% reduction in total aerodynamic resistance.
This does not affect the top speed, which is still limited to 170 km/h by regulations. However, the optimized airflow provides a significant advantage. This further reduces the electric car's energy consumption.
The Audi RS Q e-tron E2's electric powertrain includes an energy converter (an internal combustion engine and a generator), a high-voltage battery, and two electric motors on the front and rear axles. The role of energy management in this context is critical. During the first rally races, the electronic control of the advanced electric powertrain performed admirably, with only minor challenges in extreme situations. For instance, Audi saw a short-term performance boost during the Dakar Rally when the wheels barely touched the ground during jumps or on rough terrain.
The displays remain in the driver's field of vision and in the center console as we know it, as does the central switch panel. However, the engineers have restructured the displays and operating elements.
In the event of a puncture, the crew has it much more manageable. The previous large covers on the spare wheels on the car's sides have been replaced by simple and easily removable body components. The new 10-spoke rims from Rotiform partners are much easier to grip. The driver and co-pilot can grasp and change the wheel more efficiently and safely.
Audi Sport unveiled the new Audi RS Q e-tron E2 on September 1 in Germany, following initial testing under the direction of Arnau Niubó Bosch, head of Test Engineering. From October 1 to 6, the new technique will compete for the first time at the Morocco Rally. All three Audi driver teams will compete in the desert rally to prepare for the Dakar Rally 2023. @via Audi Sport.
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