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Step inside the 671bhp electric Audi Dakar racer

Steve Q

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First pics of the RS Q e-tron’s interior. Includes: massive handbrake for massive drifts 


Yes of course it’ll drift, but if you needed actual visual evidence, it’s right here. Audi has released the first images of its RS Q e-tron’s cockpit and included within the rather technical arrangement is the all-important drift-handbrake.

Audi terms it a “double-cranked aluminium handbrake lever”, but it’s basically the fun switch. “Pulling on the handbrake helps to recover energy, as does operating the footbrake,” says Audi.

But the essential purpose of the handbrake in rally racing is to induce a slide of the RS Q e-tron before corners. The brief locking of the rear wheels forces the car into rotation. This makes direction changes particularly agile.” You see? Drifting [in rally] is ESSENTIAL.

Moving on. You’ll notice it’s a touch less polished inside here than, say, an A8 limo, what with it being a 671bhp electric Dakar rally racer and not an executive’s wheels. Audi reckons it should remind ‘car fans’ of an aeroplane cockpit because the screens and displays are spread out across the entire dash. Well, we certainly know it can fly.

There are eight buttons on the steering wheel (buttons? Never catch on, that) for various car-based functions, and some displays in front of the driver. Want more buttons? There’s another central display with 24 of them bolted on for the co-driver’s use; buttons that can be assigned to various functions as per each team’s wishes.

Finally there’s an ‘Iritrack’ system used for emergencies that tracks the speed and current position of the RS Q e-tron in case of an accident.


What else, what else... ah yes, the RS Q e-tron gets a pair of electric motors from the company’s 2021 Formula E racer, a 50kWh battery and a 2.0-litre DTM combustion engine (to recharge the battery). And it looks brilliant.

Should look even better sideways, one suspects.








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