SINGAPORE: Audi will compete in the Dakar Rally for the first time with a hybrid electric prototype entry in 2022.
The race in the world’s toughest cross-country rally will be carried out in co-operation with the newly-founded Q Motorsport GmbH based in Trebur, Germany.
Audi was active in rallying in the 1980s, helping to make all-wheel drive become a mainstream feature in modern vehicles.
The Dakar prototype is expected to use Audi's Turbo Fuel Stratified Injection engine to charge the battery via a highly-efficient energy converter.
Q Motorsport GmbH is a family business founded by Sven Quandt and his two sons Thomas and Tobias Quandt. As a driver, Sven Quandt ahd won the T1 Marathon Cup in 1998.
In the same year, his team GECO Raid celebrated a 1-2-3 victory in the T1 classification of the Paris–Dakar Rally.
From November 2002 to the end of 2004, Quandt was the head of motorsport at Mitsubishi Motors. At the same time, he began to build up the X-raid Team, which celebrated five victories in the Dakar Rally and won the FIA World Cup for cross-country rallies eleven times.
“With Q Motorsport, we want to break new ground in cross-country motorsport independently of and parallel to X-raid,” says Sven.
“The world is changing and Dakar must also prove that it can be sustainable and continue to point the way forward. This is exactly what Q Motorsport wants to demonstrate together with Audi.”
Audi will also return to Le Mans where it dominated less than 10 years ago.