Volkswagen announced today that a modified version of its ID.4 1st Edition (RWD) model will participate in the upcoming National Off-Road Racing Association (NORRA) Mexican 1000 off-road race, on April 25-29 in the Baja peninsula of Mexico.
It will be a stock-based vehicle, specially prepared for off-road use by Rhys Millen Racing. Behind the wheel will sit professional racer and Volkswagen brand ambassador Tanner Foust, who tested the ID.4 in late 2020.
Volkswagen explains that it will be a rear-wheel-drive ID.4 with a standard 82 kWh battery and drive unit. The main modification concerns the off-road suspension and racing interior, which means that it will be the first production-based EV to enter the NORRA Mexican 1000.
"Volkswagen has a long history of off-road racing in Baja, as a Beetle-based Meyers Manx was the first winner of the inaugural NORRA Mexican 1000 in 1967."
"The aim is to show the capabilities and performance of an EV in an extreme environment."
We must admit that it looks pretty cool:
Because the total distance is 1,141 miles (1,836 km), including 893 miles (1,437 km) off-pavement, the ID.4 will have to fast charge multiple times, using a 50 kW charger. Hopefully, it will turn out better than in the case of the Lordstown Endurance.
The EPA Combined range of the ID.4 1ST is 250 miles (402 km), but we guess that in a race it will be lucky to see 100 miles.
"To charge the ID.4 in the wilds of Baja, the Volkswagen team will use a portable biofuel generator powering a 50-kW portable fast charger. As the NORRA Mexico 1000 race will be run in loops due to COVID travel restrictions, the team will attempt to complete about 98 percent of the stages in the loop event without the need for recharging."
More about the vehicle:
"While the 201-horsepower electric motor, battery pack and drive systems have not been altered, the vehicle’s power electronics have been given extra protection from the elements for off-road racing. The interior of the ID.4 has been stripped of features such as the HVAC system and modified with a roll cage, safety racing seats and supplemental screens for key data like battery temperature.
The suspension was thoroughly reworked with rally-style coil-over struts at all 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, and additional skid plates of 3/8-inch steel added to the undercarriage. The ID.4 was also swapped from 19-inch wheels to 18-inch wheels with 255/70 R 18 tires that provide more sidewall for cushioning and wheel travel, with the body lifted a total of about two inches from stock."
Gallery: Volkswagen ID.4 For NORRA Mexican 1000
Interestingly, according to writer and off-road racer Emme Hall, who will join Foust in the race, the ID.4 "performed best when left in its regular drive modes, with traction control and the “B” level battery-regeneration setting engaged."