AUDI'S AUDI RS Q E-TRON IS UPDATED FOR THE 2024 RACE SEASON.
As you’d expect with a dedicated racecar, things are continually improved upon so that the car’s performance evolution is on par with the competition. In the famed Dakar Rally, the racecars need to be the best of the best or they won’t hold up to the gruelling conditions that the rough, hit and dry terrain throws at them. With this being the 3rd Dakar that the hybrid-powered Audi RS Q e-tron will compete in, it’s essentially now a 3rd-generation of the car. Last year three of these cars competed, and only one finished, but that wasn’t due to technical issues or failures. The low-emission racecars did what they needed to do, and they did it damn well, the DNF classifications only came about as a result of accident damage. While accidents are bad, it does help engineers identify things that can be improved to raise the safety level. “What the RS Q e-tron is fundamentally capable of has been demonstrated by our drivers and co-drivers with six stage victories and 22 other single-day podium results at the Dakar Rally since 2022,” says Rolf Michl, Head of Audi Motorsport. “Now it’s a matter of showing our performance as steadily as possible so that we can fight for top positions.” As a result, Dr. Leonardo Pascali, the project’s new Technical Director, has focused on five key areas to improve on with his development team. The Audi driver crews of Mattias Ekström/Emil Bergkvist, Stéphane Peterhansel/Edouard Boulanger and Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz will benefit from the new ideas to make the RS Q e-tron safer, more reliable, more comfortable and a little lighter. A bonus is also that the cars will have shorter maintenance times for the team at the Bivouac.
On safety, by working with the springs, dampers and the bump stop in the chassis, the engineers have better distributed some of the load. This enables optimum control of the RS Q e-tron. Attention was turned to the foam in the seats, developers focused on the material stiffness and geometries of the foam in the seats, also taking into consideration how the cockpit temperature influences the stiffness of the foam, making long stints more comfortable. The CFRP crash box at the front end of the chassis structure is now longer, without compromising the angle of attack, and will absorb the energy generated from an accident. For reliability, previously, penetrating stones got caught between the rim bed, brake disc and upright, so new fastening elements for the uprights allow greater clearance so that the stones are thrown out more easily. There are also more robust rims and the new BF Goodrich tyres have stronger sidewalls, making them less vulnerable to failure. For comfort, there is optimized acoustic shielding, better cockpit sealing, and a modified front bonnet that better repels swirled mud and water, allowing the windshield to remain cleaner. On maintenance, things have been simplified, like the modified bolted connections, improved tool holders, optimized filling cap devices for operating fluids, a new locking solutions for body parts and bolted instead of glued connections. For performance, various components have been optimized in terms of weight, like the rear bonnet, smaller brake calipers and even the co-driver footrest for the co-driver. The regulations also slightly shift the balance between Audi’s T1U model and the opponents in the T1 class in terms of power-to-weight ratio: The 263 kW of maximum output from the electric motors at the start of the 2023 season changed to 271 kW during the Dakar Rally after the regulation change. For 2024 it will rise again to 286 kW and the weight of the opponents’ T1 models by rise by 10 kg to 2,010 kg.
Take a look at the YouTube video that explains all the changes to one of the coolest cars in the Dakar race series, the hybrid-powered Audi RS Q e-tron. The changes made don't affect the already bulletproof and proven Quattro drivetrain, which meant the engineers could focus on all other aspects of the car to make it even better: Audi RS Q e tron for 2024 | CWMedia
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