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

WEC’s Le Mans Hypercar and LMDh contenders in full
Porsche LMDh
racing

WEC’s Le Mans Hypercar and LMDh contenders in full

WEC’s rebirth starts now. These are the cars you’ll see racing for Le Mans glory over the next few seasons
7 Oct 2021
FIA and Formula 1 to develop sustainable fuel for use by 2025
F1 2020 testing2
racing

FIA and Formula 1 to develop sustainable fuel for use by 2025

New targets have been set to develop and utilise low-carbon synthetic fuels to reduce the sport’s carbon footprint
6 Oct 2021
Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review – a premium take on VW’s ID.4?
Audi Q4 e-tron 50 – front tracking
Audi

Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review – a premium take on VW’s ID.4?

The new Q4 is wide of the mark in key areas, but is sure to sell in numbers that will deem this irrelevant
6 Oct 2021
Audi Grand Sphere Concept previews new flagship EV to succeed A8
Audi Grand Sphere Concept – front quarter
Audi

Audi Grand Sphere Concept previews new flagship EV to succeed A8

The second of three Audi Concepts, Grand Sphere aims for new type of luxury class customer
2 Sep 2021

Most Popular

Aston Martin V12 Vantage officially coming in 2022
V12 Vantage teaser
Aston Martin Vantage

Aston Martin V12 Vantage officially coming in 2022

Aston Martin’s dreamy small body/big engine combo is back, a new V12 Vantage is coming next year
1 Dec 2021
Used car deals of the week
Used car deals main
used cars

Used car deals of the week

Here's what caught evo’s fancy this week on the second hand car market
2 Dec 2021
Audi RS3 2021 review - Audi Sport set to take on AMG’s A45S
Audi RS3 review 2021
Audi RS3

Audi RS3 2021 review - Audi Sport set to take on AMG’s A45S

Audi’s new RS3 hyper hatch finally gets the technology to take on AMG’s range-topper
22 Nov 2021