The slightly modified version of the Volkswagen ID.4 1st Edition (RWD) successfully completed the National Off-Road Racing Association (NORRA) Mexican 1000 off-road race on April 29 in the Baja peninsula of Mexico.
It's a huge success as the ID.4 has become the first electric car that ever entered this event. Moreover, ID.4 completed the entire race as one of 64 vehicles out of 90 total (29% did not complete the race).
The car had a stock powertrain and an 82 kWh battery pack with a modified off-road suspension and racing interior (prepared for off-road use by Rhys Millen Racing).
"Despite the brutal nature of the Baja wilderness, the only damage suffered by the ID.4 was some cosmetic injury to the rear bumper. All of 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."
More about the modifications:
"While the 201-horsepower electric motor, battery pack and drive systems were left stock for the race, the interior 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 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, and additional skid plates of 3/8-inch steel added to the undercarriage."
For most of the race, the ID.4 was driven by professional racer and Volkswagen brand ambassador Tanner Foust, with writer and off-road racer Emme Hall completing two stages.
Scott Keogh, President and CEO of Volkswagen of America said:
“This was an exciting test of ID.4 technology because no other production-based EV had ever entered this event, let alone completed it. 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. ”
The NORRA Mexican 1000 distance was a total of 840 miles (1352 km) with stages between 33 to 167 miles (53-269 km) so the main issue was to recharge.
Volkswagen was using a portable biofuel-powered generator connected to a 50 kW flat charger as well as towing the car between the stages with regenerative braking.
"...the ID.4 was able to recharge mostly using a portable biofuel-powered generator connected to a 50 kW flat charger. In a couple of 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."
Tanner Foust said:
“This was everything we had hoped for. 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.”