Perhaps it will spawn a road version?
With models like the Quattro, Audi was once a dominant force in rally racing. The brand cemented its dominance in the 1980s with multiple World Rally Championships and now, Audi wants to make a return to off-road motorsport with a new model. Unlike the five-cylinder-powered Quattro, this one will be powered by electric motors, but it won’t be all-electric like the 2021 Audi Q4 e-tron.
Audi will compete in the 2022 Dakar Rally for the first time with an innovative prototype. The prototype (teased here) will feature an electric drivetrain with a high-voltage battery mated with an energy converter to extend the range. That energy converter is one of Audi’s TFSI engines, though the company did not specify which one. At the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi unveiled the AI:Trail quattro off-roader, which this new model could be based off.
This is the first time that an automaker will enter the Dakar with an alternative drive concept, though it is not Audi’s first time innovating in motorsport. The Audi R18 e-tron Quattro was the first hybrid racing car to win the Le Mans 24 Hours. The teaser image is covered with a tarp, but we can tell this prototype won’t look like any current production Audi. It looks like a lifted supercar sitting on massive tires mixed with a bit of e-tron DNA.