Audi. Ducati. The two marques do not appear to have anything in common but yet somehow they found a common ground on unpaved roads. The two marques recently come together to premiere their off-road rides. Ducati presented the Ducati DesertX, the Italian motorcycle maker’s first entry to the offroad segment and Audi brought along the Audi RS Q e-tron for the Dakar Rally.
Granted, the Audi RS Q e-tron is not a ride money can buy but it’s, well, a double premiere and it matters not if it is a vehicle you can buy or not. Anyways, moving on…
Powered by a 110 HP 937cc Testastretta engine that turns out 68 lb-ft (92 Nm) of torque, this two-wheel offroad offers generous ground clearance, and long suspension travel, and is outfitted with 21-inch front wheels and 18-inch rear – the first modern Ducati to do so.
The setup, consummated by 6 riding modes which include 2 (Enduro and Rally) for off-roading, allows DesertX to take on any slopes while remaining as capable as a road bike.
The all-new Ducati DesertX will arrive at dealers in North America with a starting price of US$16,795.
Meanwhile, the Audi RS Q e-tron is not the newest news. In fact, it made its Dakar Rally debut back in January, driving away with four stage victories. Then in March, it bagged its first overall victory at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.
The RS Q e-tron does not only look futuristic; the drivetrain is equally futuristic. It is armed with three motor-generator units, one on each axle and one part of the energy converter which is a TFSI engine from the DTM. The latter is required to charge the high-voltage battery while driving and is necessary since there are no charging opportunities in the desert.
However, the main drivetrain is fully electric, sharing the same motor-generator unit outfitted on the Audi e-tron FE07 Formula E car, with some minor mods for Dakar Rally – obviously.
All told, the Audi Q RS e-tron has a total output of 288 kW (392 hp), which enables this 2,000+ kilograms desert-going beast to rocket from standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 4.5 seconds. The top speed is limited to 170 km/h (106 mph) as per regulations. And oh, the century sprint is on a loose surface, btw. So, it is indeed very quick.
If you are interested, you may learn more about this awesome race car HERE.