Audi starts building Q8 e-tron edition Dakar in Belgium

Introduced in January, the Audi Q8 e-tron edition Dakar is now rolling off the assembly line at Audi  Brussels, Belgium. The Q8 e-tron edition Dakar is the off-road-oriented first Audi EV available in showrooms.

Named after the world-famous desert rally, the Audi Q8 e-tron edition Dakar is based on the Audi Q8 advanced 55 e-tron quattro. Audi will build only 99 examples of the off-road-focused Q8 e-tron.

Special branding

A frosted serial number on the D-pillar proudly communicates the model’s exclusivity to onlookers. Another exclusive exterior feature on the sides is puddle lamps, which project “edition Dakar” and remind the driver they’re entering a special Audi.

The Audi Q8 e-tron edition Dakar is available in Magnetic Gray, Mythos Black metallic, and Siam Beige metallic paint options. Customers ordering it in the Mythos Black metallic color can optionally specify it with a distinctive decal package inspired by the Audi RS Q e-tron, the German automaker’s Dakar Rally race car.

Audi wanted to celebrate its ‘electric’Dakar victory with a special series of the Q8 e-tron built in Brussels /Audi

The limited-edition model’s front Bottom Line has a Mythos Black Metallic finish, and its charging port doors on the sides feature “edition Dakar” branding. The key cover is also exclusive and features special branding.

Light off-roading

Audi has tweaked the regular Q8 e-tron’s air suspension for light off-roading on the Q8 edition Dakar. The latter has 31 mm higher ground clearance, which makes it more capable off the road. It stands tall at 206 mm in the base setting, but it keeps getting lower as the speed increases, by 15 mm at 85 kph, 17 mm at 100 kph, and 13 mm at 120 kph. Audi states 20º as the approach angle, 26º as the departure angle, and 19º as the ramp angle. As for wading depth, that measurement is 300 mm. Optional camera-based digital mirrors help reduce the vehicle’s width by 15 cm.

Audi uses 18-inch wheels wrapped in General Grabber AT3 all-season tires on the Q8 e-tron edition Dakar but ships it with a set of 20-inch wheels and summer tires as well. The grippier all-terrain tires give the EV an improved grip on irregular surfaces like gravel, snow, stony terrain, and mountain and forest paths. Customers can switch to summer tires for regular road usage.

The Q8 e-tron edition Dakar comes standard with a roof rack with a load capacity of 40 kg. Inside, the MMI operating system shows the vehicle’s tilt angle in addition to other regular information.

It’s all about the feeling

Exclusive display themes with specially created background images and coordinated ambient lighting further elevate the feeling of sitting in a go-anywhere rugged Audi. A two-zone automatic climate control system is standard, while a four-zone version is available as an option.

Two motors, one at the front and one at the back, power the Q8 e-tron edition Dakar, producing 300 kW or 408 hp (in boost mode) and 664 Nm of torque. A 0-100 kph sprint takes just 5.8 seconds (summer tires)/5.9 seconds (all-terrain tires), while the top speed is 200 kph.

A 106 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, chargeable at up to 11 kW (AC)/170 kW (DC), gives the Q8 e-tron edition Dakar a WLTP range of up to 487 km. Audi has priced the Q8 e-tron edition Dakar in Germany at €119,900.

As already known, the successor of the Audi Q8 e-tron won’t be built anymore in Brussels but in Mexico and most probably also in China. North America and China are the most interesting markets for EV SUVs of this size. This successor is due in 2028.

Meanwhile, the current Q8 e-tron has to be sold and seems to be facing slower sales. Of course, it’s not a cheap car, and the far more modern Q6 e-tron, just launched on another, more modern PPE platform, seems more capable in many ways. Special versions like the ‘Dakar’ shown here must sharpen the appetite for what was once the first fully electric Audi.



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