Audi has announced that it will take part in the world-famous Dakar Rally for the first time in 2022 with an innovative prototype. 

Audi will take part in the cross-country race with an electric Sports Utility Vehicle. The alternative drive concept combines an electric drivetrain with a high-voltage battery and a highly efficient energy converter for the first time. 

Markus Duesmann, chairman of the Board of Management and Board of Management Member for Technical Development and Product Lines at AUDI AG, said: "We want to continue demonstrating the brand's slogan 'Vorsprung durch Technik' in international top-level motorsport in the future and develop innovative technologies for our road cars. The toughest rally in the world is the perfect stage for this."

Audi is the first car manufacturer that has committed to develop a viable alternative drive concept for the Dakar Rally. In 2012, Audi achieved the first victory of a hybrid racing car in the Le Mans 24 Hours. The Audi R18 e-tron quattro remained unbeaten in the world’s most important endurance race three times in a row.

The Dakar Rally will replace Audi’s factory involvement in Formula E, which will no longer be continued in the form of an Audi factory team after the 2021 season. The use of the newly developed Audi powertrain by customer teams will remain possible beyond next year.