Audi RS Q E-Tron E2 Rally Car Sheds Weight, Boosts Efficiency

It'll see its first competitive outing in October.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
2 min read
Audi RS Q E-Tron E2 Rally Car
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Audi RS Q E-Tron E2 Rally Car

Bouncing around the desert never looked so cool.


The Audi RS Q E-Tron is a wild hybrid off-road race car, one that we have actually driven -- and enjoyed, obviously. It's already proven competitive in races, but Audi's not about to rest on its laurels, so now it's time to take a look at its successor.

This is the Audi RS Q E-Tron E2, which is quite the mouthful. It's also quite the impressive machine. The general premise is the same -- it's a hybrid-electric race car that only uses its onboard internal-combustion gas engine to charge a battery that provides the electric motors with juice. But there have been some major changes to the RS Q E-Tron E2 to make it even more competitive for 2022 and 2023.

Audi RS Q E-Tron E2 Is Ready to Rally

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To start, the E-Tron E2's body is completely new, widening the cockpit and adjusting the aerodynamics. The vehicle's center of gravity has also been lowered for better performance. Overall, the E-Tron E2 produces about 15% less drag than its predecessor. The spare tire covers have also been simplified, making it much easier to repair a puncture, and a new set of Rotiform wheels are apparently much easier to pick up and move around.

The E-Tron E2's hybrid powertrain also got reworked. The power controllers were adjusted to better stay within regulatory limits, while the air conditioning system was dialed back, as it had the chance to actually freeze its coolant because of how hard it worked. Inside, the drivers have a new, wider cockpit with streamlined controls that make it much easier to set per-stage speed limits and activate the backup camera.

Considering how much fun we had in the first iteration, we bet the Audi RS Q E-Tron E2 will be an even bigger blast. You'll be able to see it in action when it makes its competitive debut at the Rallye du Maroc in October.