Volkswagen this year will take on the Rebelle Rally for the first time, using its ID.4 in the event's crossover class.
Doing the driving will be Mercedes Lilienthal together with navigator Emily Winslow, and they won't exactly have a stock version of the electric crossover.
VW tapped two expert rally car builders, Rhys Millen Racing and Tanner Foust Racing, to build a bespoke ID.4 for the gruelling rally which this year will cover close to 1,600 miles of California and Nevada deserts. Rhys Millen Racing previously built an ID.4 for the NORRA Mexican 1000 rally, which Tanner Foust Racing founder Tanner Foust drove, so both outfits have experience working with the electric crossover.
2021 Volkswagen ID.4 built for 2021 Rebelle Rally
Key modifications include upgraded suspension, OZ Racing wheels, Yokohama Geolandar A/T tires, and skid plates and additional protection for the battery. The vehicle also features a wrap with the artwork of Liz Kuz, who created a motif using the rally's location as inspiration.
The female-only rally runs October 7-16. Lilienthal and Winslow have previously competed, with Winslow managing a podium finish in 2018.
You might be wondering how the ID.4, whose EPA-rated range is 250 miles, can manage a long-distance event like the Rebelle Rally. VW hasn't provided details but in the case of the NORRA Mexican 1000, none of the stages exceeded 200 miles, and teams running electric vehicles also had access to a probable generator in the cases where a charge was necessary.