Article By John Redfern

Volkswagen to enter off-road Rebelle Rally with electric ID.4 SUV

The Volkswagen-backed team will use a rally-prepared ID.4 EV in the all-female competition.

The Volkswagen ID.4 SUV tackles a tough off-road event in the United States this week.

It’s the first entry by Volkswagen into the famed Rebelle Rally, a women-driven adventure competition.

Covering 1,400 miles in 10 days across the deserts of California and Nevada, it will prove a major test for the all-electric ID.4.

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Volkswagen has given the ID.4 some modifications to cope with the tough desert conditions. Renowned motorsport experts Tanner Foust Racing and Rhys Millen Racing have helped with the conversion.

Upgrades include new suspension components to boost ride height, special skid plates to protect the 82kWh battery, and new wheels with Yokohama Geolandar All-Terrain tyres.

The 295hp electric drivetrain remains unchanged, although the team will use an all-wheel-drive version of the ID.4.

A bespoke vinyl wrap by Salt Lake City-based artist Liz Kuz completes the car’s makeover.

Now into a sixth year, the Rebelle Rally is the first all-female off-road race in the United States. Teams have only limited supplies, and their own driving and navigation skills, to complete the challenging course.

Freelance journalist Mercedes Lilienthal will be driving the ID.4, with project manager Emily Winslow on map duty.

Kimberley Gardiner, senior vice president of marketing at Volkswagen of America, said: “Volkswagen helped make off-road competitions popular in the 1960s, and we’ve only just begun to explore the potential of electrification in off-roading motorsports. We’re really excited to have Mercedes and Emily leading the charge on this experience of a lifetime.”

The 2021 Rebelle Rally begins on 7 October in Las Vegas, Nevada, and concludes on 16 October in Glamis, California.

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