Audi is no stranger to the world of electric vehicles. The German automaker has been producing the e-tron line of EVs since 2018, and has plans to launch more than 20 fully electric models by 2025. But Audi is also not afraid to take on new challenges, such as the Dakar Rally, one of the toughest and most prestigious off-road races in the world.
The Audi Q8 e-tron Edition Dakar is a special edition SUV that combines the best of both worlds: the performance and efficiency of an electric drivetrain, and the ruggedness and versatility of an off-road vehicle. It is based on the Audi Q8, a luxury SUV that offers a spacious interior, a sleek design, and a range of advanced features. But the Q8 e-tron Edition Dakar is not just a regular Q8 with an electric badge. It is a unique vehicle that has been specially modified to tackle the harsh conditions of the Dakar Rally.
What makes the Q8 e-tron Edition Dakar special?
The Q8 e-tron Edition Dakar is not a production model, but a limited edition of 100 units that will be available for customers in selected markets. It is inspired by the Audi RS Q e-tron, the prototype vehicle that Audi is using to compete in the Dakar Rally for the third time in 2024. The RS Q e-tron is a groundbreaking vehicle that combines an electric drivetrain with an energy converter system based on the TFSI engine and a generator. This allows the RS Q e-tron to generate its own electricity while driving, and to cover the long distances and varied terrains of the Dakar Rally without relying on external charging stations.
The Q8 e-tron Edition Dakar shares some of the features and design elements of the RS Q e-tron, such as:
- The turquoise blue lights on the front and rear, which indicate when the vehicle is driving in electric mode. These lights are also used by the RS Q e-tron to signal its self-driving capabilities.
- The large air intakes on the front bumper, which help to cool the electric motors and the battery pack.
- The roof rack with a spare wheel and a storage box, which provide extra space and security for the equipment and supplies needed for the rally.
- The chunky tyres with a special tread pattern, which offer better grip and traction on sand, gravel, and rocks.
- The Dakar logos on the doors and the rear, which pay tribute to the legendary race and Audi’s participation in it.
What are the specifications of the Q8 e-tron Edition Dakar?
The Audi Q8 e-tron Edition Dakar is powered by a 95 kWh battery pack that provides a range of up to 310 miles on a single charge. The battery pack can be recharged in about 30 minutes using a fast charger. The vehicle has two electric motors, one on each axle, that deliver a combined output of 402 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque. The Q8 e-tron Edition Dakar can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 124 mph.
The Q8 e-tron Edition Dakar also has a number of features that enhance its off-road performance and comfort, such as:
- The adaptive air suspension can adjust the ride height and damping according to the road conditions.
- The quattro all-wheel drive can distribute the power between the front and rear wheels as needed.
- The Audi drive select that offers seven driving modes, including off-road, allroad, and dynamic.
- The Audi virtual cockpit displays relevant information on a 12.3-inch screen, such as speed, battery level, navigation, and entertainment.
- The Audi MMI touch response allows the driver to control various functions on a 10.1-inch touchscreen, such as climate, audio, and phone.
- The Audi smartphone interface supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and enables wireless charging.
- The Audi connect offers online services, such as traffic information, weather updates, and emergency calls.
- The Audi pre sense monitors the surroundings and warns the driver of potential hazards, such as pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles.
- The Audi side assist helps the driver to change lanes safely, by detecting vehicles in the blind spots and alerting the driver with a flashing light on the mirror.
- The Audi park assist helps the driver to park the vehicle, by steering the vehicle into a suitable space and providing a 360-degree view of the surroundings.
How much does the Q8 e-tron Edition Dakar cost?
The Audi Q8 e-tron Edition Dakar is priced at $120,000 in the US market. This is significantly higher than the base price of the regular Q8, which starts at $69,000. However, the Q8 e-tron Edition Dakar offers a unique combination of electric performance, off-road capability, and exclusivity that may appeal to some customers looking for a special SUV.
The Q8 e-tron Edition Dakar is also eligible for the federal tax credit of up to $7,500 for electric vehicles and other state and local incentives. These can reduce the cost of ownership and make the Q8 e-tron Edition Dakar more affordable.
The Q8 e-tron Edition Dakar is a special edition SUV that showcases Audi’s expertise and innovation in electric and off-road vehicles. It is inspired by the RS Q e-tron, the prototype vehicle that Audi is using to compete in the Dakar Rally, one of the most challenging and prestigious off-road races in the world.
The Q8 e-tron Edition Dakar offers a powerful and efficient electric drivetrain, a rugged and versatile off-road design, and a range of advanced features and technologies. It is a limited edition of 100 units that will be available for customers in selected markets. It is priced at $120,000, but it may qualify for various incentives that can lower the cost of ownership. The Q8 e-tron Edition Dakar is a unique vehicle that combines the best of both worlds: the performance and efficiency of an electric vehicle, and the ruggedness and versatility of an off-road vehicle.
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