In a groundbreaking triumph, Audi has rewritten the annals of the Dakar Rally with its electrifying victory, as the Audi RS Q e-tron, a state-of-the-art low-emission prototype, powered its way to glory in the world’s most grueling desert rally. The dynamic Spanish duo, Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz, etched their names in the history books, clinching Audi’s inaugural win in this prestigious event after a grueling journey of approximately 7,900 kilometers, finishing a remarkable 1 hour and 20 minutes ahead of their closest rivals.
Gernot Döllner, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, couldn’t hide his elation. “Team Audi Sport’s victory at the Dakar Rally is not just a win; it’s a milestone in motorsport history,” he exclaimed. The Audi RS Q e-tron, a marvel of engineering, boasts electric all-wheel drive, a high-voltage battery, and an energy converter powered by eco-friendly reFuel, slashing CO2 emissions by 60% compared to traditional fuels.
Oliver Hoffmann, AUDI AG Board Member for Technical Development, praised the team’s groundbreaking achievement. “This victory is a testament to Audi’s pioneering spirit in motorsport. Our revolutionary electrified drive conquered one of the most challenging races in just three years,” he stated.
The competition was intense, with Audi pitted against seasoned contenders from Toyota, Ford, and Prodrive. Sainz and Cruz dominated the rally, maintaining an uninterrupted lead from the sixth stage. This win marks their fourth triumph with different brands, two of which are from the Volkswagen Group.
The race was characterized by daily stretches exceeding 400 kilometers, two marathon stages with limited or no service, and a total of 7,883 kilometers across unforgiving terrains like scree, gravel, and towering dunes in the Arabian Peninsula’s Empty Quarter.
Sainz, a rally legend with a career spanning four decades, led for eight days alongside Cruz. The other Audi teams, including the Swedes Mattias Ekström and Emil Bergkvist, also showcased impressive performances, with Ekström and Bergkvist finishing among the top 50.
Rolf Michl, Head of Audi Motorsport, summed up the achievement: “This historic result for Audi is a collective triumph, a symphony of teamwork, strategy, and resilience.” Under the technical leadership of Dr. Leonardo Pascali, Audi Sport has once again set a benchmark in the world of motorsport, adding the Dakar Rally to its illustrious list of achievements, which includes the transformational quattro all-wheel drive, victories at Le Mans, and groundbreaking ventures in Formula E.