Dakar Audi to spearhead motorsport plans. A Le Mans return is on the cards too
Audi is to compete in the Dakar Rally from 2022 with a new alternative drive concept. The company is also exploring a Le Mans return. Audi’s Dakar racer will combines an electric drivetrain with a high-voltage battery and a highly efficient energy converter for the first time. Cross-country rallying will spearhead Audi’s motorsport future.
Dakar AUDI will have an alternative drive concept
“A multifaceted commitment to motorsport will remain an integral part of Audi’s strategy,” company chairman Markus Duesmann confirmed on Monday. “We want to continue demonstrating ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ and develop innovative technologies for our road cars. The toughest rally in the world is the perfect stage for this.”
The Dakar effort in essence sees Audi return to rallying, which it revolutionised with the quattro. Today, all-wheel drive is the standard. Not only in rallying, but in the sportiest Audis including its e-tron models. Audi was also the first hybrid to win the Le Mans 24 Hour.
Now Audi will race an alternative drive concept in the the most extreme conditions at the Dakar. The powerful new electric Dakar racer’s high-voltage battery will be charged by an efficient TFSI engine powered energy converter. The aim is to improve the new system’s performance and best develop future Audi electrified production cars.
AUDI IS CONSIDERING LE MANS RETURN TOO
The Dakar effort replaces Audi’s Formula E factory team, although its electric powertrain continue to be raced by customer teams. Audi Sport customer racing will continue with the Audi R8 LMS in major endurance races. Audi has however confirmed it is evaluating the new Le Mans LMDh rules.
“We are assessing possible fields of activity for us in international motorsport,” Audi motorsport boss Julius Seebach confirmed. “We have our customers in mind as much as we remain focused on electrification and carbon-neutral mobility. This is why we are intensively preparing to enter. Motorsport will continue to play an important role at Audi.”