Audi to compete in Dakar Rally as it exits Formula E
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INGOLSTADT - Audi will withdraw from the all-electric Formula E series as a works team at the end of next year to focus on the Dakar Rally and endurance racing including an eventual return to Le Mans, the carmaker said on Monday.
The Dakar Rally will replace Formula E as the Volkswagen-owned brand's focus, although Audi said customer Formula E teams will be able to use a newly-developed powertrain beyond next year.
Audi will compete in the Dakar with an electric SUV prototype.
"Cross-country rallying will be the spearhead of the factory motorsport commitment in the future," Audi said in a statement.
Audi added that the Dakar rally car will be fed by a high-voltage battery, which can be charged as required while driving by a TFSI turbopetrol engine, which acts as an energy converter.
“The aim is to permanently improve the performance of the electric drivetrain and the battery in the years to come,” Audi added.
“The experience gained in this process should then be incorporated into the further development of future electrified production models.”
Audi says it is the first carmaker to have committed to developing a viable alternative drive concept for the Dakar Rally.
The marque has been involved with Formula E since the series, now a recognised world championship, started in 2014 and won the team title in 2018.
Audi said it will enter a new LMDh category class of the world endurance championship, without setting a date for a works return to Le Mans.