The Audi RS Q is an ultra high-tech off-road racing machine with an electric powertrain but a combustion engine functioning as a generator. In this video, the Dakar Rally competitor takes on a V10-powered Audi R8. 

The Audi RS Q uses electric motors from the 2021-spec Audi e-tron FE07 Formula E car to power the front and rear axle. A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder from the company's DTM car connects to a motor-generator unit to charge the 52-kilowatt-hour battery.

Gallery: 2022 Audi RS Q E-Tron

In racing trim, the rules limit the power output to 335 horsepower (250 kilowatts). However, it's possible to double that figure 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 already confirms that the successor to the supercar is fully electric. The one in this race in the UK is the V10 Performance model that makes 612 hp (456 kW or 620 metric hp).

Being an EV (at least of a sort), you might expect the RS Q to be quiet. It's not. Even at a stop, there's a noisy whine. Turning on the high-voltage system makes things even louder. Without the intercom system, there would be no way to hear the co-driver.

Even from outside the vehicle, the RS Q is loud. It sounds like the whistle from a boiling tea kettle when going down the track.

The RS Q doesn't have a launch control system, meaning driver skill is necessary to get a good start. The Dakar rally machine manages to win the first quarter-mile race but loses the second one. It comes back in the third to take a final victory.

They then race from a roll. With its instant torque delivery, the RS Q manages to win the first two runs. For the final one, the R8 starts in second gear, and this makes the difference. The machines stay side by side for much of the distance, but the V10-powered model eventually pulls ahead.

The final challenge is a braking test from 100 mph (161 kph). The RS Q doesn't have anti-lock brakes and weighs more. The R8 scores an easy victory.

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