The brand with the four rings confirmed it will exit the Formula E Championship at the end of the 2020/2021 season, leaving Porsche to represent the Volkswagen Group in the electric open-wheel series.
The LMDh class was created by the ACO and IMSA and means that Audi will be eligible to contest either the World Endurance Championship or the American IMSA Sportscar Championship.
The 2022 rally will mark the first time that a factory Audi team has competed off-road since Walter Röhrl claimed victory at the 1987 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in a Quattro S1 E2.
The vehicle will combine an electric drivetrain with a high-voltage battery and a highly efficient energy converter. However, the company will continue to supply its powertrain in the series to customer teams going forward. And that's not all - the company is also making a long-awaited return to top-flight endurance racing with an entry in the new LMDh sports prototype category.
Above: The Audi R8 is the most successful auto in Le Mans history, having won five times between 2000 and 2005. "We want to continue demonstrating the brand's slogan "Vorsprung durch Technik" in global top-level motorsport in the future and develop innovative technologies for our road cars", said Markus Duesmann, Chairman of the Board of Management and Board of Management Member for Technical Development and Product Lines at AUDI AG.
According to Markus Duesmann (Chairman of the Board of Management - Technical Development and Product Lines at AUDI AG), around 40% of Audi's sales are expected to be achieved with purely-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, by as early as 2025.
"The most important message for our fans is that motorsport will continue to play an important role at Audi".
Last week, Audi revealed its 2021 Formula E racer, which features a new powertrain developed completely in-house for the first time, replacing a unit that had been developed with technology partner Schaeffler. 'This is why we are taking the next step in electrified motorsport by facing the most extreme conditions.
The Dakar Rally is arguably the world's most gruelling race, spanning tens of thousands of kilometres across harsh desert environments. This works effort will spearhead the company's future motorsports strategy.