When the Rebelle Rally launched in 2015, it was the first all-female rally to take place in the United States. The annual race sees teams of women drive from Nevada to California during an eight-day event covering a host of different terrain — and this year, we’re getting the all-electric Volkswagen ID.4 competing against some of the more traditional off-roading competitors.
Now, Volkswagen has announced it intends to field its electrically-powered ID.4 in the grueling challenge. The entry will mark Volkswagen of America’s inaugural entry into the Rebelle Rally.
While we’re used to seeing electric off-road machines like the Odyssey 21 from Extreme E tear up the desert dunes, watching an ID.4 bite the dust will provide an unfamiliar site for many onlookers.
During the race, the family-focussed SUV will face loose, sandy surfaces, high altitudes, and formidable temperatures. All of which sound like they should be beyond its normal operating range, which I imagine is more likely a short drive for the school run or a quick trip to Home Depot.
This doesn’t seem to have phased VW though, which is throwing a host of rallying expertise at the entry to prepare the all-wheel-drive ID.4 for the grueling race.
Tanner Foust Racing and Rhys Millen Racing have modified the electric SUV, which now boasts new suspension components, tubular control arms, fabricated skid plates and battery protection. The car also features Thule rack accessories and Yokohama Geolandar A/T tires.
Despite the changes to the car, the ID.4 AWD’s 82kWh battery and motors remain as standard. As such, the rally-spec SUV is said to have 295hp and 339 pound-feet of torque.
In order to make the ID.4 blend into its rally surroundings a bit better, VW has wrapped the car in a livery created by Salt Lake City-based artist Liz Kuz. The aesthetic is said to be inspired by the rally terrain that the car will encounter as it drives across the deserts of Nevada and California. So expect to see flashes of yellow, blue and purple as the ID.4 makes its way through the Rebelle Rally.
When VW rocks up to the start line in Nevada, the ID.4 will be driven by Mercedes Lilienthal, who will partner navigator Emily Winslow. To watch the race unfold, head here.
This isn’t the first time the ID.4 has taken on an off-road race. Earlier this year, VW entered the SUV into the NORRA 1000 event.