For the first time, Audi Sport's motorsport division has joined the famous Dakar Rally with a shiny new contender: the RS Q E-Tron. Officially unveiled this month, the rally racer was born to conquer various challenging terrains – far from the recently unveiled R8 LMS GT3 Evo II for the tarmac.
Apart from its unconventional form, the RS Q E-Tron made headlines with its atypical electric drivetrain setup that involves the use of a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder TFSI engine. The ICE engine works like a generator to charge the batteries, sort of like how Nissan's self-charging e-Power hybrid works.
Gallery: 2022 Audi RS Q E-Tron
With two electric motors propelling each axle, the Audi RS Q E-Tron can produce up to 670 horsepower (500 kilowatts) outside the regulations of the Dakar Rally. How does it perform in a drag race on the tarmac, though?
To demonstrate, Carwow puts up an Audi RS E-Tron GT against an RS Q E-Tron rally racer in a drag race. The two are day and night in so many ways but there are similarities as well. Specifically, the road-going Audi EV also makes over 600 hp from two electric motors, and both of them are runs on all fours.
The rally racing RS Q E-Tron has a bit of advantage in terms of weight, though, as it's a tad lighter than the RS E-Tron GT by 168 pounds (76 kilograms). However, the former comes with a set of knobby tires, which is a disadvantage versus the Porsche Taycan cousin in terms of traction on the tarmac.
With these pieces of information laid out, which do you think crossed the quarter-mile marker first? Did the road tire advantage make a difference in a straight-line test? The video atop this page should give you a summary, including a rolling race comparison and brake test.