We drive the new Volkswagen ID.4 and the old Beetle to deal with the desert

2021-12-16 07:42:54 By : Ms. Rancy Yi

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Two ID.4 electric SUVs prepared for off-road use and a desert racing 1969 Beetle proved that the desert does not care about the way of propulsion.

With more and more outdoor-themed crossovers equipped with body cladding and multi-section tires, we must commend Volkswagen for competing with its two pedestrian ID.4 electric SUVs in difficult desert racing conditions. To be sure, this is a promotional move-the company is not currently keen to transfer the knowledge it has learned to off-road-oriented production mode-this is still a bold endeavor, because the two cars basically Both crossed their respective finish lines without problems. It also highlights the challenges faced by electric vehicles as they become more common, even in remote areas.

Considering Volkswagen’s long, unconventional history in the off-road field, Volkswagen’s ID.4 adventure is not surprising. The original Beetle, in all its basic rear-engine glory, has been conquering the desert for decades. Over the years, Volkswagen has won championships in different disciplines such as the Dakar Rally and the action-packed rally. It even drove a top Trophy Truck to participate in the Baja 1000 endurance race-a rather exotic truck with a mid-mounted V-12 turbo diesel engine borrowed from Audi’s proud Le Mans racer Provide motivation. After the shameful downfall of diesel technology, electricity is the clear path forward for the masses, whether on the street or through Arroyos scattered through rocks.

Compared with a dedicated off-road machine with a flared body and a suspension travel measured in feet, the slightly modified ID.4 is a tame to eat. The smaller of the two - a two-motor all-wheel drive model upgraded with all-terrain tires, skid plates, stronger suspension arms, and repositioned radiator - participated in this year's 1,400 miles in the southwestern United States. Rebelle rally. The other is a single-motor rear-wheel drive model that participated in the Mexico 1000 race held by the National Off-Road Racing Association (NORRA) in the Baja Peninsula. It is manufactured by Tanner Foust and Rhys Millen Racing. It is the more professional of the two. It has a two-inch body lift, larger tires, a reinforced suspension with tensile coil shock absorbers, and a roll cage. Strip the interior.

What's more impressive about the two ID.4s is the speed at which they reach the checkered flag, rather than the speed at which they get there. But considering their modest upgrades, when the public invited us to the desolate trail near Palm Springs, California, they performed well. Regenerative braking helped us ease our range and pace on uneven ground, and their suspension made the gentler whistling sound softer without having to push the wheel through the fender lining. So far, the 295-horsepower dual-motor version is the more entertaining of the two. In addition to the grunt sound enough to push you back into the seat, Rebelle Racing also demonstrated the agility of the ID.4 and the flexibility of the electric drivetrain, measuring the torque between the front and rear axles and adjusting the brakes to allow sliding in corners. On the other hand, the 201-horsepower NORRA version lacks thrust and extra traction, which brings a lot of fun, although its higher tires and stronger suspension do give it an advantage on rugged roads.

Perhaps to make the ID.4 look extraordinarily delicate, Volkswagen also brought a 1969 Beetle for off-road preparation, which is basically manufactured in accordance with the 11-level desert racing specifications. Although largely old-fashioned, it has a roll cage, more than one foot of ground clearance, an upgraded suspension with Bilstein dampers, and the GPS and radio equipment needed to navigate between remote checkpoints . "The things in the mirror are being lost," a message was printed above the rearview mirror. The pushrod 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine provides approximately 75 horsepower through a four-speed manual transaxle with a very inaccurate long-stroke shifter, while the huge thin-frame steering wheel only provides ambiguous route corrections suggestion. Due to the lack of most of the windows, the interior was full of dust and noticeable air-cooled engine clicks.

The Beetle weighs only 2150 pounds and weighs less than half of ID.4, which gives it agility and helps avoid drilling into the soft silt of Johnson Valley. It is still painfully slow because it jolks and bounces in the landscape with the elegance of a paint vibrator. But it can roll through dangerous washboard-like bumps with more power than either of the two EVs can withstand, not just because of its four drum brakes slowing down and dragging their feet on the ground. It's also helpful. It would be cruel to rush through the desert in a hurry for several hours, but participate in all the ways that a quiet, computer-equipped ID.4 does not have. In addition to the hum of the motor, ID.4s generally lack noise, and the bottom of the body makes a click of debris, which limits their charm and makes it difficult to measure our speed. There is still no consensus on what electric cars should sound like, and some people may even prefer to be almost silent when exploring the natural world. But any vehicle that raises a puff of dust needs to provide at least some auditory excitement.

The shortness of our courses means that other major EV problems-mileage anxiety and charging complications-are not a problem, and the base camp provides adequate electronic supplies when needed. However, during the competition, ID.4 requires the use of a large generator truck to regularly charge the battery. Although such a setup can support other utilities during race weekends, even for a high-profile electric racing series like Extreme E, power generation is still a onerous logistical challenge. Volkswagen may continue to expand its Electrify America charger network, but only Jeep has promised to install sockets at certain major entrances to improve the feasibility of electric vehicles deviating from the norm.

When the sun goes down on a dusty day in the desert, we hope to have more seating time on all three Volkswagens-not only to explore their more functions, but also because of mechanical failures that ultimately make us mostly Both cars in the drive were absent. The Beatles had long had no spare tires due to flat tires, and the NORRA specification ID.4 caused suspension failures due to bolts shaking on the road, requiring long-term maintenance. No matter how common electric vehicles become in the larger automotive field, they will never get rid of the unpredictability of off-road driving.