Audi Sport signs up for Dakar in 2022, but drops Formula E campaign

WEC return also on the cards among shake-up of Audi’s motorsport activities

Audi Dakar racer

Audi Sport has announced plans to compete in the 2022 Dakar Rally and has also revealed its intention to return to World Endurance Championship circuit racing. This news is accompanied by a restructuring of Audi Sport’s upper management and the closing of Audi’s Formula E campaign. 

For the Dakar, Audi Sport is building a Rally Raid-style car, rather than a WRC-style production car-based machine. It will be designed specifically to survive the Dakar’s famously tough conditions, with drive coming exclusively from electric motors powering all four wheels. The electric powertrain will be supplemented by a small turbocharged petrol engine, which will act as an on-board generator to charge the batteries and enable the car to cover the vast distances required each day during the event.

This will be the first electrified Dakar racer from a large-scale manufacturer, and as with Audi’s past efforts in WEC racing will position the company as a technological leader in the discipline. And speaking of WEC, Audi Sport has also announced that it is preparing to return to endurance racing, campaigning an all-new racer in the new LMDh prototype category at highlight events such as the Le Mans 24 Hours and Daytona 24 Hours.

Audi Sport has yet to define specific timing for its return to WEC, but it will be part of an influx of factory manufacturers joining the sport over the next two to three years, spurred on by the new LMDh and LMP1 Hypercar classes. 

Audi R18

To offset these new campaigns, Audi will end the factory support of its Formula E team after six years. Initially partnering with Abt Sportsline, and later committing to full factory support in 2017, Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler has been the most successful team in the short history of FE, a series with a direct relationship with Audi’s bourgeoning EV road car range. 

So Audi Sport is dropping its participation in one not particularly interesting race series to return to two others that are as central to Audi’s heartland as Quattro itself. Sounds like a good trade deal to us.

Recommended

Rodin FZero plans revealed – 1160bhp V10-powered hypercar rival for Red Bull’s RB17
Rodin FZero render – front
News

Rodin FZero plans revealed – 1160bhp V10-powered hypercar rival for Red Bull’s RB17

There’s another hypercar contender on the horizon, the Rodin FZero
10 Aug 2022
Porsche Motorsport reveals new 911 GT3 R racer
Porsche 911 GT3 R 992 – header
News

Porsche Motorsport reveals new 911 GT3 R racer

Porsche’s new 911 GT3 R racer will be run by both factory and customer teams across various GT3 formats
29 Jul 2022
Ferrari 296 GT3 debuts – rival to the next Porsche 911 GT3 R and McLaren 720S GT3
Ferrari 296 GT3 – side
News

Ferrari 296 GT3 debuts – rival to the next Porsche 911 GT3 R and McLaren 720S GT3

Ferrari’s 296 GT3 racer is brand new from the ground up and will run a twin-turbo V6 engine
29 Jul 2022
Pro-Am McLaren Trophy championship announced
McLaren Artura Trophy – front
News

Pro-Am McLaren Trophy championship announced

McLaren’s new Trophy championship to use Artura GT4-based racer with more power and aero
29 Jul 2022

Most Popular

Aston Martin DBR22 revealed – an open-top V12 rival to the Ferrari Monza SP2
Aston Martin DBR22 - front quarter
News

Aston Martin DBR22 revealed – an open-top V12 rival to the Ferrari Monza SP2

It’s another screen-less low-volume supercar, but the new DBR22 could pinpoint the future of Aston Martin design
15 Aug 2022
Porsche 911 Sally Carrera Special Edition revealed
Porsche Sally Carrera – front quarter
News

Porsche 911 Sally Carrera Special Edition revealed

Porsche’s been collaborating with Pixar on this one-off special that’ll be sold at Car Week for charity
12 Aug 2022
Used BMW Z4 (G29, 2019 to date) review and buyer’s guide
Header
Reviews

Used BMW Z4 (G29, 2019 to date) review and buyer’s guide

BMW’s Z4 offers good performance, plenty of grip and lots of equipment. But is it sporting enough?
15 Aug 2022