After taking on the Dakar Rally, the Audi RS Q e-tron’s sights are set on Abu Dhabi
In an incredible victory for electric cars, the rally world, and the future of motorsport and cars in general, the Audi RS Q e-tron debuted at the Dakar Rally with four incredible stage victories. The sandy desert setting of the race has for decades provided an iconic and respected challenge to rally cars and motorcycles from all over the world, and the event is one of the most iconic rallies in the world.
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In March, however, the Audi RS Q e-tron is focusing on the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, a rally that has been in the UAE since 1991, and which is reportedly shorter and easier to navigate than this year’s Dakar rally. However, that doesn’t mean that the Abu Dhabi race doesn’t come without its challenges. The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge will be much hotter, first of all. The temperatures expected are temperatures that the RS Q e-tron has not yet had to brave, and along with that challenge, the warmth makes the sand much softer, which means that the Audi will have a tougher time getting traction when climbing the dunes. The driver, Stéphane Peterhansel, says that the electric powertrain will be a boon in this situation due to its continuously variable drive and high torque, meaning that, unlike conventional cars, he won’t have to choose a gear and gamble getting stuck driving too slow, or jumping while not knowing what is ahead if the dune was climbed too quickly. These dunes are an especially relevant consideration in Abu Dhabi as they comprise 80 percent of the course.
Despite these challenges, sights are set on a podium position at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, to be held March 6-10, and should the car continue the success it has had, that moment may define the future of the rally world.