The Audi RS Q is an ultra high tech off-road racing machine with an electric powertrain but the combustion engine serves as a generator. In this video, this Dakar Rally competitor uses a V10-powered Audi R8.
The Audi RS Q uses an electric motor from the 2021 Audi e-tron FE07 Formula E to drive the front and rear axles. A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder from the company’s DTM car is connected to a motor-generator unit to charge the 52-kilowatt-hour battery.
In racing trim, the rules limit power output to 335 horsepower (250 kilowatts). However, that figure can be doubled to 670 hp (500 kW) by turning a knob and pressing a button.
Where the RS Q points to the future, the R8 is the last of an era. Audi has already confirmed that the successor to the supercar is fully electric. The one at this race in the UK is the V10 Perform Performance model which produces 612 hp (456 kW or 620 metric hp).
Being an EV (at least it’s sort of), you might expect the RS Q to be silent. Not this one. Even at the stop, there was a noisy whining. Turning on the high-voltage system makes things louder. Without an intercom system, there would be no way to hear the co-driver.
Even from outside the vehicle, the RS Q is loud. It sounded like the whistle of a teapot boiling as it descended the track.
The RS Q doesn’t have a launch control system, meaning driver skill is required to get a good start. The Dakar rally machine won the first quarter-mile race but lost the second. It came back in third to take the last win.
They then race off the reels. With instant torque delivery, the RS Q managed to win the first two rounds. For the latter, the R8 starts in second gear, and this makes all the difference. The engines remained side-by-side for most of the distance, but the V10-powered model finally pulled forward.
The final challenge was the braking test from 100 mph (161 kph). The RS Q has no anti-lock brakes and is heavier. R8 scored an easy win.