Back in 2012, Audi made history when it became the first automaker to race an electrified vehicle to victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. However, in the years that followed, the Four Rings made a decisive move away from the event in favor of Formula E competition. As it turns out, Audi’s had a plan all along — to repeat its monumental Le Mans performance, albeit this time at the Dakar Rally.
Pictured before you is the car Audi will be campaigning: an amalgam of motorsport-proven technology dubbed the ‘RS Q e-tron.’ Under the hood, it’s powered by a 671hp electric drivetrain, with a pair of front and rear motor-generator units (MGUs) pulled from the current FE07 Formula E car. However, because there will be an obvious lack of chargers out in the desert, Audi has equipped the vehicle with the same turbocharged 2.0L inline-four used in its RS5 DTM racer. In addition to making up a core part of the energy converter system (alongside a third MGU), it’ll also act as a range extender for the 50kWh battery. Set to compete next January, the RS Q e-tron wil have Stéphane Peterhansel, Carlos Sainz, and Mattias Ekström at the helm. Check it out below.