A year after the launch of its production hybrid RS Q E-Tron, Audi has a completely redesigned model ready for rally raid events. Part of the redesign is to meet the new regulations, but most of the changes involve improved performance and efficiency. It’s all called the RS Q E-Tron E2, similar to how the late Group B Audi Sport Quattro had the S2 suffix.
Design is the most obvious area that has changed, and Audi notes that every skirt is new. It’s a bit longer and wider, and the cockpit is a bit wider too. These are mainly due to new regulations. But the body has 15% less resistance than the old one. Much of this is due to the underside of the vehicle, which now narrows at the front and rear between the wheels. Also, while regulations now have a higher minimum weight requirement of 100 kilograms, the E2 is lighter than its predecessor, as it was even heavier than the new minimum weight. Audi noted that the bodywork is also designed to have more easily removable panels for maintenance and easier-to-handle wheels.
Audi hasn’t provided any power specs, but the powertrain is a similar configuration to the old RS Q E-Tron. It has a gas engine for a generator, a high voltage battery and a pair of electric motors that drive the wheels. Audi adjusted its power management and worked on efficiency. It has a new air conditioning system that works intermittently to save energy and to prevent a problem the team had with freezing the coolant. And that more aerodynamic body also improves efficiency.
The off-roader will compete in the Morocco Rally 2022 and the Dakar Rally 2023.