2024 Audi Q8 e-tron edition Dakar inspired by upcoming rally-raid

Mason Bloom

2024 Audi Q8 e-tron edition Dakar

The start of the 2024 Dakar Rally is just about upon us and Audi spotlighted its participation Wednesday by unveiling an electric SUV inspired by the desert race. 

The 2024 Audi Q8 e-tron edition Dakar features plenty of horsepower, heightened off road capabilities, and a limited decal package. The Dakar Rally kicks off January 5 2024. Originally run from Paris, France to Dakar, Senegal, the Dakar Rally as of 2020 is held as a 3,100-mile, two-week race entirely within Saudi Arabia. Audi has participated in the fastest class, T1 Car Class, of this physical, mental, and mechanical endurance test since 2022.

2024 Audi Q8 e-tron edition Dakar
The 2024 Audi Q8 e-tron edition Dakar is better engineered for off-roading versus its standard counterpart. Image: Audi

Each Q8 e-tron edition Dakar is based upon the Q8 55 e-tron and is propelled by a 402-horsepower, 490 pound-feet, two-motor electric drivetrain. A 114-kWh battery supplies the power to all four wheels. Outputs like these push the some 6,000 lb SUV from a standstill to 60 miles per hour in a respectable 5.9 seconds when riding on standard-fit General Grabber AT3 all-terrain tires. A tenth of a second can be shaved off that time with summer tires installed.

A modified air suspension system and the aforementioned all-terrain rubber are the foundation of off-road performance by increasing ride height by 31 millimeters, to 206 mm, which is comparable to the Porsche Cayenne’s 208 mm. Clearance gradually decreases as speed picks up – by as much as 17 mm at 62 mph – to benefit range and aerodynamics.

Drivers of the Q8 e-tron edition Dakar can gain plenty of confidence on roads less traveled due to the vehicle’s 20 degree front and 26 degree rear angle of approach, as well as its ramp angle of 19 degrees. The Q8 e-tron edition Dakar offers wading capabilities that enable the vehicle to move through bodies of water shallower than 11.8 inches (300 mm).

2024 Audi Q8 e-tron edition Dakar
Thicker tires and more ground clearance let the Q8 e-tron edition Dakar clear less adequately paved paths. Image: Audi

When it comes to color palette, the Q8 e-tron edition Dakar is a tad limited. Audi limits choices to a grayscale Siam Beige metallic, Mythos Black metallic, or Magnetic Gray.

Looking to spruce up the edition Dakar a bit more? Ninety-nine buyers can, if desired, select an option that engulfs each exterior panel with transparent Audi-themed decals. Only buyers of Mythos Black vehicles can receive this special treatment which also includes the vehicle’s serial number displayed on the D-pillar.

The Q8 e-tron edition Dakar is a rally-inspired SUV while remaining a luxury vehicle at its core. Audi offers its S-Line interior standard which includes Dinamica microfiber and artificial leather upholstery and a sport leather steering wheel. A Sport Stitching package enhances the customization experience and adds red stitching to the seats, steering wheel, door armrests, and more.

Any extra cargo that can’t fit into the vehicle’s 28.5 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats can go onto the standard roof rack. It supports as much as 88 lbs of load and comes with a bag and a variety of support straps.

2024 Audi Q8 e-tron edition Dakar
Only 99 Q8 e-tron edition Dakars get special decals, which include Audi logos and textures. Image: Audi

The 2024 Audi Q8 e-tron edition Dakar will only be available for sale in Germany, initially offered at roughly $132,000 ( ​​€121,000). Order books are set to open Q1 2024.

Article Last Updated: January 4, 2024.

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