Technology

The Dakar Rally support vehicle had everything thrown at it

There are plenty of places in the UK where you can drive in the sand.

Black Rock Sands near Porthmadog is nice. Capture the right day and it’s a small piece of paradise.

The Audi support team at Dakar Rally tricked several Q5s

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The Audi support team at Dakar Rally tricked several Q5s
I have to see how this car can perform while watching the legendary Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia

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I have to see how this car can perform while watching the legendary Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia

There’s also Pendine Sands in south Wales – motorsport fans will know all about that – and Brean Beach in Somerset.

Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, you won’t get bogged down in these rock-hard beaches, even in 2CV.

It’s a pity the UK doesn’t have sand dunes you can drive in.

Because if it happens, I’ve found the perfect vehicle for it not a Defender for once or a pickup. It’s an Audi Q5 Sportback.

I’ll bet my mortgage that 99% of Q5 customers never go further than the curb outside Whole Foods.

But I got to witness how capable this car is while watching the legendary Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia.

Audi’s entry for Dakar is an over-hyped Tamiya radio-controlled car. It’s an electric four-wheel drive system, but uses a gasoline engine from a DTM (German touring car) racing car to act as a generator to charge the battery. Let’s just say it’s experimental and expensive.

The support team couldn’t drive one of them. So they tricked some Q5s instead. I’ll give you a quick tour: The standard 2-litre petrol mild hybrid produces 265bhp, quattro all-wheel drive, air suspension, chunky off-road tires that deflate one bit to extend their contact patch. That last bit is really important because it helps the car grip and climb the dunes.

It’s really all you need, aside from a heavy right foot.

But the Germans ate the banana and threw everything at it. They added a roll cage, a Recaro chair, two fire extinguishers, a GPS tracker, a two-way satellite phone, and a cooler.

Fixed to the roof are sandboards, shovels, lights, and sand jacks strong enough to hold the vehicle in place if you have a large inspection.

We don’t need any of that.

I don’t remember much anymore because I was too busy with the pleasure of throwing this car into the scene.

What I remember is why I described the Q5 Sportback as a “baby Bentley” when I tried one at home.

The engine, the ride quality, the refinement, the build quality – everything about this car is very well done. And it’s also the right size, much more livable than the Q8.

I’d say the Q5 Sportback is so well designed that it seems like Audi has spent more on it than they really should.

A bit like this Dakar Q5.

The Germans take a banana and throw everything at it. They added a roll cage, a Recaro seat, two fire extinguishers, a GPS tracker, a two-way satellite phone, and a cooler

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The Germans take a banana and throw everything at it. They added a roll cage, a Recaro seat, two fire extinguishers, a GPS tracker, a two-way satellite phone, and a cooler
Secured to the roof are sandboards, shovels, lights and sand jacks strong enough to hold the vehicle in place if you have a big inspection.

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Secured to the roof are sandboards, shovels, lights and sand jacks strong enough to hold the vehicle in place if you have a big inspection.

But we’re glad they did.

MAIN FACT: AUDI Q5 SPORTBACK

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  • Price: £45,445
  • Engine: Gasoline 2 liter mild hybrid
  • Power: 265hp, 370Nm
  • 0-62mph: 6.1 seconds
  • Max speed: 149mph
  • Economy: 33mpg
  • CO2: 192g/km
  • Outside: Now
Audi RS Q e-tron review: Dakar error like never before

https://www.thesun.ie/motors/8196796/audi-q5-sportback-dakar-support-car-everything-thrown-at/ The Dakar Rally support vehicle had everything thrown at it

Fry Electronics Team

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