Rally-inspired Audi Q8 E-Tron Edition Dakar goes further off-road

4 months, 3 weeks ago - 4 January 2024, Autoblog
Rally-inspired Audi Q8 E-Tron Edition Dakar goes further off-road
It gets more ground clearance and beefier tires

Audi is highlighting its participation in the Dakar Rally by launching a limited-edition version of the Q8 E-Tron called Edition Dakar. The electric SUV receives additional ground clearance, available edition-specific exterior accents and decals, and a set of off-road-ready tires.

Suspension modifications and General Grabber AT3 tires come together to increase the Q8 E-Tron's ground clearance by a little over an inch, though the system remains programmed to drop as speed increases to reduce drag and improve driving range. In its highest setting, the SUV offers approach, break-over, and departure angles of 20, 19, and 26 degrees, respectively. It certainly won't keep up with a Jeep Wrangler on the Rubicon Trail, but it should be capable of going a little farther off the beaten path than the regular-production Q8 E-Tron.

Visually, the Edition Dakar stands out from the Q8 E-Tron with wider flares on the wheel arches and Mythos Black Metallic exterior trim. Buyers will have three colors called Siam Beige Metallic, Mythos Black Metallic, and Magnetic Gray, respectively, to choose from, and the list of options includes a decal package designed as a tribute to the plug-in hybrid RS Q E-Tron that represents Audi in the Dakar Rally.

The long list of standard features includes Matrix LED exterior lighting, the S-Line interior (which notably adds sport seats), a sport steering wheel, and brushed matte aluminum interior trim. Off-road and summer sets of tires are both included, so make sure you've got extra space in your garage, and every Edition Dakar gets a roof rack as well as specific, rally-inspired graphics for the infotainment system's display. 

Audi didn't make any drivetrain modifications. Power comes from a pair of electric motors that draw electricity from a 106-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack to zap the four wheels with 402 horsepower and 488 pound-feet of torque when a boost mode kicks in. Audi quotes a zero-to-62-mph time of 5.9 seconds with the meaty tires and up to 302 miles of range when tested on the WLTP cycle used in Europe, which tends to lean toward the optimistic side of the scale. Fitting standard road tires shaves a tenth of a second from the sprint to 62 mph.

On sale now the Audi Q8 E-Tron Edition Dakar carries a base price of €120,000 in Germany, which represents about $131,000 at the current conversion rate. Production is limited to 99 units. We've asked about availability for our market, and we'll update this story if we learn more.

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