When the Mexican Rally 1000 kicks off on April 25, the new ID.4 The SUV will be one of the cars competing in the grueling 1,141 mile off-road race. Professional driver Tanner Foust and Rhys Millen Racing modified VW’s electric vehicle to cross the Baja Peninsula. Although the ID.4 is not the first electric vehicle to participate in the Mexican Rally 1000 (the IRS EV1 received this distinction in 2013), it will be the first production-based company to do so. Rhys Millen Racing left the original 201 horsepower electric motor and 82 kWh battery in place. What he modified to make the car race-ready is the suspension. He raised the radiator, added rally-style struts and steel skid plates to the underside of the car. They also fitted 18-inch wheels, as well as tires with more sidewall protection.
Plus, they modified the car’s interior to add a safety cage, racing seats, and extra screens so Foust could monitor things like battery temperature. When it comes to recharging the power cell in the desert, the team will use a portable biofuel generator to power a 50 kW fast charger. During the looping event, they plan to try and complete about 98% of the stages without stopping to recharge.
As electric vehicles have become more common on public roads, they are also running more often. It’s not only Formula E run competitions either. This year, Extreme E organized its very first off-road race, with a field entirely made up of electric vehicles. And this year’s Mexican 1000 probably won’t be the last time you’ll see Foust and his company driving an electric vehicle in the rally. He said the team already had “several ideas on what we would like to do next year.”
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through any of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.