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

Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 e-tron Sportback revealed
Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback – front tracking
Audi

Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 e-tron Sportback revealed

This is Audi’s adaption of the Group’s MEB platform, launching in two SUV body styles
15 Apr 2021
New Audi Sport Nogaro Editions reference iconic RS2
Audi Nogaro RS6
Audi

New Audi Sport Nogaro Editions reference iconic RS2

Limited-edition models to be available in RS4, RS5, RS6 and TT RS variants
18 Mar 2021
Audi RS e-tron GT revealed – high-performance EV to rival Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S
Audi RS e-tron GT - front tracking
Audi

Audi RS e-tron GT revealed – high-performance EV to rival Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S

Audi’s new electric car borrows more than a little from the Porsche Taycan, but offers its own distinctive style
9 Feb 2021
Audi RS e-tron GT prototype review – all-electric Taycan Turbo rival driven
Audi

Audi RS e-tron GT prototype review – all-electric Taycan Turbo rival driven

Audi’s take on the Taycan is more relaxed than its Porsche counterpart, but will still make you second-guess that RS7 order
5 Nov 2020

Most Popular

All-electric Ferrari confirmed for 2025 reveal
Ferrari badge
Ferrari

All-electric Ferrari confirmed for 2025 reveal

Ferrari has confirmed its first EV, but first three new models are due in the coming months
15 Apr 2021
Mercedes-AMG Project One spied on the 'Ring
Mercedes-AMG Project One – quarter
Mercedes

Mercedes-AMG Project One spied on the 'Ring

AMG’s F1-derived hypercar is nearly ready to rival the Valkyrie and T.50
16 Apr 2021
Jaguar XJ41 – Dead on arrival
Jaguar XJ41
Jaguar

Jaguar XJ41 – Dead on arrival

The blighted ’80s ‘F-type’, the demise of which led to the creation of the Jaguar XK8 and launched a new era for Aston Martin
8 Apr 2021