We race the electric Volkswagen ID 4 over 1,000 miles in Baja
8:59

We race the electric Volkswagen ID 4 over 1,000 miles in Baja

Cars
Speaker 1: You see what this happened? Everyone. I'm Speaker 2: Here. One of my favorite places in the world. There's car ranch, just outside of Ensenada in Baja, California. Why am I here? It's pretty cool. I I'm gonna be racing. The Volkswagen, all electric ID for a thousand miles across the Baja peninsula. Now this isn't the Baha 1000. That's where vehicles [00:00:30] are doing it all in 1000 miles in one single day. Now this is the Mexican 1000 put on by Nora. This is the five stage rally. So we've got some stages on the dirt and a few stages on the pavement and goal of Volkswagen is to do all of those dirt stages in one single charge. Is it gonna work? I don't know. It's a giant experiment. Speaker 3: The ID four is the new electric SUV from Volkswagen with an 82 kilowat hour battery. Storing enough electricity for [00:01:00] 250 miles of rain on the pavement. A single electric motor in the rear produces 201 horsepower and 228 pound feet of torque. Yep. You heard me right. We're taking a rear wheel drive vehicle racing in Baja. I swear to God, we've gotta be nuts. Now behind the wheel, for the most part of the race is gonna be rally, cross champion 10 or foul, but I'm gonna get my time in the car as well. Both as driver and code driver, having already wheeled the Rian R one T over the seven day rebel rally, I'm super stoked to get another EV race under my [00:01:30] belt, Speaker 2: Reese Millin and his team. They've certainly beefed up the suspension. There's a lift on it. There's better tires, all that kind of good stuff. Um, but you just, we're still gonna have to drive really, really carefully. I mean, this is a 15 mile an hour, our 20 mile an hour vehicle. This isn't a trophy truck. And so we just need to make sure that we don't drive it as such. We need to drive the car within its limits, um, regen as much as possible. And also most importantly have fun. Speaker 3: The week before the Mexican 1000 race, another EV the Lord's town endurance [00:02:00] attempted to race the San Felipe two 50, but the team didn't make more than 38 miles. The terrain in San Felipe meant that it was next to impossible for the charging truck to meet the race truck, to add those extra electrons here at the five day, Mexican 1000 each day has dirt stages with short transit stages on the pavement in between. And this is where Volkswagen will charge the ID four using a biofuel generator. The charging truck never has to venture off the pavement. As long as we can get the ID four to the end of each stage, we should be golden. [00:02:30] But at the end of day one, the ID four is looking pretty good. The rear aftermarket mounts for the rally shocks took a dump during stage one, but FAUS was able to drive carefully and the chase crew swapped the stock shocks back [00:03:00] onto the rear during that transit stage. So the car's now really soft in the rear, but it's still trucking on, Speaker 2: Well, it is the start of day two. And somehow I found myself in a racing suit and I'm gonna be taking on the first stage of day two, which is from, uh, the Northern part of San Fe bay to the Southern part to a little town called it DUCs or I've always just called it a lot of the terrain in here, you know, I dunno what it's cause again, there's no, pre-running I know [00:03:30] that San Fe, Bay's got a lot of books. Uh, I kind of hope that we're not on that section. Of course, down here. I also know that there's some greater dirt roads, so here it could be pretty different, could be pretty easy. And that's one of the cool things about Nora is that you never really know what you're gonna get until you get there. Speaker 3: Right? So, yeah, yeah, that thought was kind of the understatement of the year. I mean, I was having a great time getting driving tips from Tanner kicking some major, but until, uh, we hit some sand, Speaker 2: [00:04:00] See if we can get straight ahead. Speaker 3: The unfortunate thing is that we had no recovery gear with us, no shovel, no max tracks, nothing. All of that stuff was on the chase truck that was fortunately able to find a hard pack access road to us. The thank God Speaker 2: Going, keep going, keep going. [00:04:30] Did you see what just happened? We been stuck for, I don't know how long and we were digging with our hands. We were digging like 10 flip Flo because there's only like prickly things in here. We've giant holes. The, the stuck from the got stuck. And as soon as Nate and, um, Speaker 3: [00:05:00] We ended up having to take the maximum time for that stage. And it took us so long to get out that we missed the starting time for stage two. So we took max time for that as well. And if we had turned around, we would've gotten stuck again. So we had to reverse out if this isn't a lesson for always carrying your own recovery gear, I don't know what is Speaker 2: All right. You may be wondering how the heck would turn this ID four out here in the middle of nowhere. I mean, we've gotta work with the infrastructure we have, which in Baja is not so much. So we brought a truck and trailer. [00:05:30] So the truck is carrying a diesel generator feeds that power into a 50 kilowat battery. When we get to a transit stage, this one here is about 15, 16 miles. Put the car in the trailer, plug the car in, get some juice. If we don't have enough juice, when we get to the next special stage, we usually have a little bit of time to keep the car plugged in. Now there's nothing in the rules. It says that we cannot put the car on a trailer. So Volkswagen is actually really smart here. They really looked at Speaker 3: The rules and they saw how they could fit in their charging [00:06:00] strategy within the rules of the normal 1000. But day three would find the biggest range challenge yet a 167 mile dirt stage with no place for the charging truck to meet the ID four. Fortunately the SUV can be tow charged and our chase buggy was up to the task equivalent to a 20 kilowat charger. The team was able to add enough Jews to get the ID four through the stage. Now there's nothing in the rules that says that you can't fuel on stage. In fact, many gas powered cars had to take a splash of fuel to make the whole 167 miles [00:06:30] Volkswagen just did it in a different way. Speaker 3: Day four showed that even the pros can be limited by their vehicles when Tanner found himself at the end of a strap to make it up a steep in Sandy hill. But frankly, I mean, there was no way a real real drive, 4,600 pound car with only 200 horsepower was gonna make it up this hill. I mean, that's just physics. Now you can option an ID four all wheel drive, but at the time of the rally rear [00:07:00] wheel drive was all that was available to the team. And you gotta work with what you have my own personal vindication would come later on day four, when I got a second shot at glory race in the ID four through San Felipe, my S stage was 40 miles or so, but even with 60 miles of range on the clock, I still came in with just four miles to spare along the way I use the regenerative breaking as much as possible, hardly ever touching those mechanical breaks. This helps to add a few tents of a mile back into the battery and it helps transfer the weight to the front of the vehicle. So I've got a little bit more grip on the dirt to make the turns. [00:07:30] I mean, there's plenty of room behind my right foot, but look, this is a race for a finish, not a win. And after getting the car stuck two days before I am not about to break anything, Speaker 3: Day five was finally our last day, we'd gone 929.7 miles, and we had just 211.3 miles until we reached racing glory. Tanner had to show a little bit of restraint on the many fast sections. I mean, after all, we're looking for total efficiency and range, flat out speed [00:08:00] steep and Rocky climbs were made easier with the traction control. But when Tanner realized he had enough range to make the finish, he turned off that nanny for just a little bit of fun after a total of 37 hours of 36 minutes and 15 seconds of racing covering 1,141 miles. The ID four crossed the finish line at horsepower ranch, and Insat making history as the first electric vehicle to complete a race in Baja. Heck it wasn't even last. It came in 61st out of a total of 64 finishers [00:08:30] Volkswagen. Hasn't said if it will compete again next year, but I think we'll see more and more EVs breaking barriers in Motorsports in the next few years, it's possible that power density will reach to the point where EVs only need to charge once a day or maybe charging will speed up allowing EVs to get back on courts quicker. Speaker 3: The ID four was over 22 hours behind the Nora 1000 winners. So there is definitely a lot of time to make up, but I for 1:00 AM 100% here for it.

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