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Tracktest: RS Q e-tron gegen Ducati DeserX

Double premiere: Audi and Ducati off-road event / Dakar Auto

The event was accompanied by the testing of the Audi RS Q e-tron and Ducati DesertX in Sardinia, where motorsport professionals from Audi and Ducati accompanied the event, and the joint design underlines the solidarity of the group of brands.

Never before has there been an opportunity like this: Audi and Ducati welcomed the international media to Sardinia for their debut. For the first time, journalists were able to drive the new DesertX motorcycle and RS Q e-tron themselves for the Dakar Rally. The designers of both brands created an unmistakably popular look for motorcycles and cars. Expert instruction from Audi drivers Emil Bergqvist, Stefan Peterhansel/Eduard Boulanger, Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz and Ducati driver Danilo Petrucci concluded the formative experience.

Two unusual cars, spacious off-road terrain and new car allure: the excitement was overwhelming. With DesertX, Ducati is entering the off-road sector for the first time. The Italian brand, which has previously set the standard for its sporty road and mobile motorcycles, has imparted its new off-road know-how in its first driving demonstration. With its powerful Testastretta engine, wide ground clearance and long suspension travel, the new product masters all slopes with ease. At the same time, the DesertX also impresses on the road as a functional, efficient and efficient two-wheeler. During a joint drift on the cobbled roads of the southwest region of Olbia, the motorcycle and the car presented themselves in the same design.

With its black, gray and red decals, DesertX has adapted the graphic that embodies the advanced technology of the Audi RS Q e-tron on its chassis. The desert rally prototype with the four rings embodies pure efficiency. The RS Q e-tron’s innovative electric motor combined with high-voltage batteries and transducers pushes the boundaries of what is possible. He made his debut at the Dakar Rally in January and impressed with four victories. In March he achieved his first overall victory in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Danilo Petrucci, who rides with Ducati in the MotoAmerica Superbike motorcycle racing series, is a former MotoGP winner and competed in his first Dakar Rally in 2022.

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The journey in the car enchanted the experienced professional Carlos Sainz. “It was a dream come true for me because I was a fan of Carlos Sainz when I was a kid,” said the Italian. “The feeling in the cockpit is indescribable. I did not expect the RS Q e-tron to be so fast off-road. Its technology guides the way into the future of automobiles.”

Audi driver Carlos Sainz emphasized the importance of the model to the brand’s motorsport program. “What Audi has achieved with this concept is technically unique, and it is a real win for us drivers,” said the Spaniard. “The event in Sardinia was great for conveying the benefits of electric propulsion. All media have been constantly affected.”

Sainz has already won the Dakar Rally three times and was the first winner of the RS Q e-tron. Like his fellow Audi drivers, the two-time World Rally Champion was someone wanted to call in at the joint appearance in Sardinia, which with Audi and Ducati achieved a milestone.