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In 2022, Audi to compete in Dakar Rally with an electrified car

Long-distance rally race to replace Formula E campaign

Audi will return to the rough-and-tumble world of rallying. PHOTO FROM AUDI

Any established automaker knows how much weight motorsport carries in terms of elevating a brand. After taking back-to-back racing victories in recent years, the German carmaker Audi has set its eyes on the world’s most respected rally: the Dakar Rally.

A TFSI engine will provide the juice needed by the electric Quattro all-wheel-drive system. PHOTO FROM AUDI

Come 2022, Audi aims to join the challenging rally for the first time with a vehicle to be propelled by an electrified powertrain. Making a comeback into the challenging world of rallying after the revolutionary success of the Quattro almost four decades ago, four-wheel-drive cars have always been the pinnacle of handling dynamics and safety. This has been applied to Audi’s performance products including the e-Tron lineup.

The Volkswagen Iltis was the ancestor of Audi's AWD system. PHOTO FROM AUDI

Backed with its successful technological innovations in numerous motorsport categories, Audi once again pioneers a viable powertrain concept in the exciting world of rallying. The powerful electric drivetrain of the proposed rally car will be energized by a high-voltage battery mated to an energy converter in the shape of an extremely efficient TFSI engine, allowing charging while the vehicle is in motion. Continued improvements in electrified technology are expected in the years to come, which will eventually benefit future production models.

The Audi Sport Quattro rally car competed in Pikes Peak. PHOTO FROM AUDI

Audi’s entry into the Dakar Rally marks the termination of its factory involvement in Formula E, discontinuing the works team after the 2021 season. Since customer racing remains the second major pillar in the brand’s motorsport program, Audi is likely to offer the new powertrain beginning 2022.

If you’re rally fans like we are, Audi’s return to the Dakar Rally should certainly mean one thing—more thrilling cars from the Ingolstadt brand in the years to come. Now, who said electrified cars were boring?

Manskee Nascimento

Manskee is a music-loving petrolhead who specializes in car care. He finds peace in long drives to and from his home in La Union.