Volkswagen ID.4 becomes first production EV to complete this famed off-road race
A Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV that was especially prepared, successfully completed the National Off-Road Racing Association (NORRA) Mexican 1000 race recently in Baja, Mexico.
The Volkswagen EV powertrain showed off its capabilities in quite demanding conditions and terrains. The modified ID.4 went through a total of 840 miles of off-road racing. 1st Edition RWD ID.4 was modified by Tanner Foust and Rhys Millen Racing for the purpose. “This was an exciting test of ID.4 technology because no other production-based EV had ever entered this event, let alone completed it,” says Scott Keogh, President and CEO of Volkswagen of America.
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The ID.4 ran on its stock powertrain and 82 kWh battery pack with a modified off-road suspension and racing interior featuring a roll cage, racing seats and supplemental screens for key data like battery temperature. The suspension was reworked with rally-style coil-over struts at all four wheels 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. Additional skid plates of 3/8-inch steel were added to the undercarriage.
Between stages of 33 to 167 miles, the electric vehicle was able to recharge mostly using a portable biofuel-powered generator connected to a 50 kW flat charger. In situations when the ID.4 was scheduled to be transited to the next stage but the charger was not available, the racing team towed it behind a chase vehicle for a short distance while using regenerative braking to add range.
The ID.4 was one of the 64 vehicles out of 90 that finished the entirety of the NORRA 1000. The only damage that it suffered during the course of the race was some cosmetic injury to the rear bumper. The electric vehicle raced mostly in B level battery regeneration mode with stock traction control turned on.