Historic Victory for Audi at the Dakar Rally

In a remarkable achievement that will be remembered for years to come, Audi has etched its name in the annals of motorsport history with a groundbreaking victory at the Dakar Rally. The Audi RS Q e-tron, a prototype vehicle boasting an innovative electric drive system, conquered the world’s most challenging desert rally, marking a significant milestone for the brand and the automotive industry as a whole.

Audi RS Q e-tron Wins Toughest Desert Rally with Innovative Drive System

The Audi RS Q e-tron, with its state-of-the-art electric all-wheel drive, high-voltage battery, and energy converter powered by residual fuel-based reFuel, has showcased Audi’s commitment to pioneering technology and sustainable mobility. This victory at the Dakar Rally, after a grueling 7,900 kilometers, is not just a testament to the vehicle’s robust design and performance but also to Audi’s forward-thinking approach to technology and innovation.

Gernot Döllner, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, expressed his pride in the team’s achievement, stating, “Winning the world’s toughest desert rally with an electrified drive is a visible ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ and points the way to our electric future.” This triumph represents a significant leap towards Audi’s vision for an electrified automotive landscape.

Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz Achieve Fourth Personal Victory

The Spanish duo of Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz played a pivotal role in securing this historic win for Audi. Demonstrating unmatched skill and determination, Sainz and Cruz led the rally without interruption from the sixth stage, ultimately securing their fourth Dakar Rally victory. Their success underscores not only their personal prowess but also the effective collaboration and synergy between the drivers and the innovative capabilities of the Audi RS Q e-tron.

Their journey to victory was not without challenges. Strong competitors like Sébastien Loeb and Fabian Lurquin from Team BRX kept the pressure on until a critical moment on the penultimate day saw their rivals face setbacks, highlighting the unpredictability and harshness of the Dakar Rally.

Gernot Döllner: “Audi Has Once Again Set a Milestone”

Audi’s accomplishment at the Dakar Rally is a clear demonstration of the brand’s innovative spirit and technological leadership. Oliver Hoffmann, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, Technical Development, remarked on the significance of this victory, “With our revolutionary electrified drive, we have overcome one of the biggest challenges in motorsport after just three years.”

This victory is not just about winning a race; it’s about proving the viability and performance of electric drivetrains in the most extreme conditions. It sends a powerful message about the potential of electric vehicles and Audi’s commitment to leading the charge towards a sustainable automotive future.

The Dakar Rally, known for its harsh terrain and demanding conditions, was the ultimate proving ground for Audi’s innovative technologies. Competing against established automotive giants like Toyota and Ford, as well as experienced teams from Prodrive, Audi’s triumph is a testament to the brand’s strategic planning, technological prowess, and the relentless spirit of its team.

The rally’s grueling 7,883 kilometers through sharp scree, gravel roads, towering dunes, and challenging navigation demanded everything from the teams. Yet, Audi’s RS Q e-tron, under the guidance of drivers like Carlos Sainz and teams led by Rolf Michl and Sven Quandt, showcased resilience, efficiency, and the unmatched potential of electric drive systems.

This historic victory at the Dakar Rally is more than just a win; it’s a beacon for the future of motorsport and automotive technology. Audi’s pioneering efforts in electrification, from the quattro all-wheel drive in the 1980s to the triumphs at Le Mans and now the Dakar Rally, continue to redefine the boundaries of innovation and performance.

As Audi of America looks towards an electrified future, with plans to electrify at least 30 percent of the U.S. model lineup by 2025, this victory at the Dakar Rally serves as a compelling proof point of Audi’s vision and capabilities. The success of the Audi RS Q e-tron in the world’s toughest desert rally is not just a milestone for Audi but a landmark moment for the entire automotive industry, pointing the way toward a sustainable, innovative, and electrified future.


  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...