Audi Confirms Conclusion of RS Q e-tron Dakar Program

Audi Sport has apparently confirmed the end of its 3-year Dakar Rally program and thus presumably the end of competitive racing for the RS Q e-tron. We’re hearing news from Autosport that the team has confirmed this fact and could face a fine by the FIA for ending the program prior to the end of the season.

The quote from Audi reported on by Autosport confirming the program’s end is as follows:

“Audi is ending the rally project as planned after its third participation in the Dakar Rally, and the consideration of a possible participation in the 2024 World Rally Raid Championship has been rejected.”

That’s unfortunate news. It was understood that Audi would continue through the rest of the FIA-sanctioned Rally Raid series (W2RC) with its RS Q e-tron competing in the T1U category, however the brand sighted a lack of spare parts and long lead times as the reason for the early withdrawal.

Also from Autosport:

“After extremely high spare parts consumption at the 2023 Dakar, a very intensive test program in 2023 and the damage that occurred, as well as the very tough 2024 Dakar Rally, most of the prototype parts have been used up as a thorough analysis showed. 

“The long lead times in the production of such one-offs are sometimes up to two years due to very few, highly specialized suppliers for Audi’s extremely complex prototype. 

“This means that the framework conditions are not in place within which Audi could ensure successful participation in the World Rally Raid Championship during an entire season.”

Interestingly, Audi could be sanctioned by the FIA for the move. The FIA’s Cross-Country Rally Sporting Regulations allow for a penalty that can be applied for just such a move. Audi had registered as a manufacturer for the 2024 W2RC season and its departure could be seen as harming the image of the series. Word via Autosport is that the fine could cost the brand some 750,000 Euros.

Read more at Autosport HERE.