The new Audi Q8 e-tron Edition Dakar is inspired by the unrelated RS Q e-tron that’s previously competed in the Dakar Rally.

    This more rugged version of Audi’s flagship electric SUV won’t be coming to Australia, however, with a company spokesperson confirming it will only be produced in left-hand drive.

    Based on the Q8 e-tron 55 quattro, the Edition Dakar has 31mm of extra ground clearance, with a standard ride height of 206mm.

    The air suspension system has been tuned for life off the beaten track, but on the highway it can automatically drop the car by 17mm to improve aerodynamic performance at higher speeds.

    In its most capable off-road mode, the Q8 e-tron Edition Dakar has an approach angle of 20 degrees, a departure angle of 26 angles, and a ramp angle of 19 degrees. Maximum wading depth is said to be 300mm.

    To help with traction on loose surfaces and snow, the Edition Dakar is fitted with General Grabber AT3 all-terrain tyres. Wider wheel arch extensions accommodate the chunky new tyres, which increase the 0-100km/h time from 5.6 seconds to 5.7s.

    In addition to four General Grabber AT3 tyres, each Edition Dakar also comes with a set of four summer road-going tyres fitted with 20-inch alloy wheels.

    Like the regular 55 e-tron quattro, the Edition Dakar has a dual-motor drivetrain developing a total of 220kW and 664Nm, with 300kW available briefly in boost mode.

    A 106kWh battery pack is standard, and is said to give the crossover a driving range of 487km according to the WLTP testing procedure.

    Standard features include Matrix LED headlights and tail-lights, puddle lights that project “Edition Dakar” on to the ground, a roof rack rated at 40kg, rugged floor mats and boot liner, and tinted sun visors for the tailgate, rear door, and side windows.

    Edition Dakar branding can found on various points throughout the car, including the the infotainment system, which has been upgraded with branded graphics, backgrounds, and a new tilt angle gauge display.

    The cabin is fitted with the S-line package, which includes aluminium highlights, steel pedals, black headlining, black leather-wrapped sports steering wheel, and sport seats covered in microfibre and leatherette.

    Options include a light bar for the colour-coded single-frame grille, red contrast stitching, a high-voltage cabin heater, a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, and camera pods instead of the regular wing mirrors.

    There are just three paint options to choose from: Siam Beige metallic, Mythos Black metallic, and Magnetic Gray. A special wrap reminiscent of the RS Q e-tron rally car is available for 99 cars finished in black metallic.

    The order book for the Q8 e-tron Edition Dakar opens during the first quarter of 2024 in Europe, with pricing starting from €120,000 ($195,000) in Germany or €11,050 ($18,000) more than a regular S-line 55 e-tron quattro model.

    MORE: Everything Audi Q8 e-tron

    Derek Fung

    Derek Fung would love to tell you about his multiple degrees, but he's too busy writing up some news right now. In his spare time Derek loves chasing automotive rabbits down the hole. Based in New York, New York, Derek loves to travel and is very much a window not an aisle person.

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