The “Rallye Dakar” holds a similar position in Rally Raid as the UEFA Champions League does in European football. Since “Reiger Suspension” joined the KW automotive group in January 2021, there’s hardly a motorsport discipline where our brands’ hardware isn’t being utilized.
The “Rallye Dakar,” formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, is the ultimate test of human endurance, vehicle performance, and engineering prowess. Traversing rugged, unpaved terrains, competitors face relentless challenges that push both man and machine to their limits. Every day, for thousands of kilometers, they must deliver unwavering excellence across diverse terrains, ensuring their vehicles remain resilient and their determination unwavering.
Within this challenging domain, our colleagues at Reiger Suspension and the KW development team stand as true heroes, tackling the monumental task of perfecting suspension systems. In the demanding world of Rally Raid, technology carriers strive relentlessly to push the boundaries of innovation, constantly seeking breakthroughs that elevate performance to new heights.
Among the technology pioneers who have blazed a trail in the Dakar Rally with their alternative drive concept is Audi’s RS Q e-tron. These prototypes, developed in collaboration with Audi, had undergone rigorous testing in 2022 and 2023. This year, the prototype (#204) driven by rally legend Carlos Sainz and his co-driver Lucas Cruz achieved a remarkable milestone in motorsport history.
This groundbreaking victory marks the first time an electrified vehicle has conquered the Rally Raid, a testament to the enduring value of continuous investment in groundbreaking technologies. From the very outset of the project, our colleagues at Reiger Suspension played a pivotal role in the development of the Audi RS Q e-tron, a marvel of engineering that seamlessly integrates electric motors with an internal combustion engine serving as a range extender for its high-voltage battery.
A hallmark of the Audi RS Q e-tron’s prowess is its unconventional drivetrain architecture, where the front and rear axles function independently, dispensing with the conventional mechanical gearbox. Instead, intelligent electronics between the axles emulate the role of a center differential, employing electric motors to orchestrate power distribution with precision. Notably, Audi utilizes a “residue-based reFuel” for the internal combustion engine, purportedly curtailing CO2 emissions by up to 60%. The overall drive system is highly acclaimed for its exceptional efficiency.
The Spanish duo of Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz asserted their dominance at the Dakar Rally, holding the lead since the sixth stage of the grueling competition. Their impeccable synergy, honed through years of experience, propelled them to victory, marking their fourth triumph (2010, 2018, 2020, and 2024) at the Dakar. This remarkable feat was particularly noteworthy as it was achieved with Audi, their fourth different manufacturer, to yield championship success.
The 2024 Dakar Rally, following the tradition established in 2020, once again challenged competitors on the demanding terrain of the Saudi Arabian Peninsula. This year’s race demanded that participants navigate challenging valleys, rocky expanses, and towering dunes covering 7,900 kilometers. Audi Sport reaffirmed its dominance by securing the top spot in the overall standings. Furthermore, our off-road customers showcased an impressive performance streak, with their vehicles claiming positions one through nine.
Taking second place was Guillaume de Mevius and Xavier Panserie (Overdrive Racing Team, Toyota Hilux #221). The third position went to Sebastien Loeb and Fabian Lurquin (Bahrain Raid Xtreme Team, Prodrive Hunter, #203). Another vehicle from the Overdrive Racing Team was the Toyota Hilux driven by Guerlain Chicherit and Alex Winocq (#211). Martin Prokop and Viktor Chytka (Orlen Jiocar Team, MP-Sports Ford Raptor, #208) secured the fifth position.
The sixth (Guy David Botterill and Brett Cummings, #243), seventh (Ginel de Villiers and Dennis Murphy, #209), eighth (Benediktas Vangas and Kuldar Sikk, #223), and ninth (Lucas Moreas and Armand Monleon, #209) positions were all claimed by our motorsport customer Toyota Gazoo Racing, each driving a Toyota Hilux.
The Challenger Class was won by the Red Bull Off-Road JR Team USA by BFG (#306) with Cristina Gutierrez Herrero and Pablo Moreno Huete. In the truck category, our Reiger Suspension customers had to concede in 2024, securing the second (Instagorex Loprais Praga, #602) and third (Eurol Rallysport) positions.
As the Dakar Rally is a key event in the Rally Raid Championship (W2RC), the World Rally Championship (WRC) season also kicks off at the end of January. The iconic Rallye Monte Carlo serves as the traditional opener, marking the start of an exciting motorsports season.
For decades, the Paris-Dakar Rally traced an epic path from the French capital to Dakar in Senegal, West Africa, before security concerns forced its cancellation in 2008. From 2009 to 2019, the race found a new home in South America’s vast and rugged landscapes. In 2020, the Dakar Rally embarked on a new chapter, venturing into the breathtakingly challenging terrain of the Saudi Arabian Peninsula.
Images Reiger Suspension, Veranstalter, Audi Sport, private