Volkswagen EV SUV ID.4 completes Mexican 1000 race

Volkswagen EV SUV ID.4 at the Mexican 1000 race

Many usually look at electric vehicles (EV) as mere city slickers—but the world now bears witness to these alternatively powered vehicles taking on difficult terrain. Take the case of the Volkswagen ID.4.

The German-engineered electric SUV finished the National Off-Road Racing Association (NORRA) Mexican 1000 race last April 29 in the Baja peninsula of Mexico, showcasing the abilities of fully electric powertrain under demanding conditions and terrain.

Volkswagen EV SUV ID.4 at the Mexican 1000 race

Volkswagen of America President and CEO Scott Keogh is elated over the latest feat of the ID.4.

 “This was an exciting test of ID.4 technology because no other production-based EV had ever entered this event, let alone completed it,” Keogh was quoted as saying.

 “Congrats to our team for demonstrating that EVs can stand up to extreme environments, and showing how fun electric vehicles can be. The ID.4 could definitely be the Baja Bug for the electric age,” he added.

Volkswagen EV SUV ID.4 at the Mexican 1000 race

Professional racer and Volkswagen brand ambassador Tanner Foust drove the Volkswagen ID.4 that was managed by Tanner Foust Racing. The EV SUV rear-wheel-drive ID.4 1st Edition model was modified by Rhys Millen Racing and ran its stock powertrain and 82kWh battery pack with a modified off-road suspension and racing interior.

The ID.4 was one of the 64 vehicles that finished the entirety of the NORRA 1000, out of 90 cars and trucks entered. “This was everything we had hoped for,” said Tanner Foust. “The course was challenging, but the ID.4 was more than up to the tasks we asked of it. This demonstrates the real potential for EV technology to make an impact in all sorts of areas that we have only just begun to explore.”

During the stages (which measured between 33 to 167 miles), the ID.4 was able to recharge mostly using a portable biofuel-powered generator connected to a 50kW flat charger. Volkswagen also shared that some instances where the ID.4 was scheduled to be transited to the next stage but the charger was not available, the team flat-towed it behind a chase vehicle for a short distance, using the regenerative braking to add range.

Volkswagen EV SUV ID.4 at the Mexican 1000 race

The interior of the Baja-ready version of the ID.4 was stripped and modified with a roll cage, racing seats and supplemental screens for key data like battery temperature, the suspension was thoroughly reworked with rally-style coil-over struts and tubular lower control arms in the front and boxed lower rear links.

“The radiator was raised several inches to improve approach angles and cooling capacity, and additional skid plates of 3/8-inch steel added to the undercarriage,” they explained, noting that the 201hp electric motor, battery pack and drive systems were left stock for the race.

The only thing reportedly damaged in the vehicle: cosmetic injuries on the rear bumper. Further, Volkswagen shared that the “vehicle’s key power, battery and control systems performed as expected.”

The ID.4 was raced mostly in “B” level battery regeneration mode with stock traction control turned on.  

In an earlier interview, Volkswagen Philippines President Felipe Estrella III expressed the companies willingness to jump in the EV bandwagon when the global automotive marque decided to push with the EVs “as part of the ambitious plan to be at the forefront of this shift to carbon neutrality by 2050.”

Photos from Volkswagen of America

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