A custom-modified Volkswagen ID.4 has just become the first EV to ever finish the 1,400-mile Rebelle Rally.

For the uninitiated, the Rebelle Rally is unique in many ways.  The women-only event takes place over eight days.  And the wilderness of California and Nevada serves as the course and no digital navigation is allowed.

The entire 1,400-mile course is navigated with traditional maps and mapping tools.  Plus the VW Rebelle Rally car driven by Mercedes Lilienthal and her navigator Emily Winslow just proved it was up to the task.

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A Custom VW Rebelle Rally Car

Volkswagen teamed up with two major names to outfit the ID.4.  First is Rhys Millen, famed Pikes Peak Hill Climb racer.  And the other, Tanner Foust, is the same guy many know from Top Gear America.

He drove a similarly modified ID.4 for the 2021 NORRA Mexican 1000 earlier this year.  So, for the Rebelle Rally, the two outfitted this ID.4 AWD Pro with bespoke tubular control arms, beefy Yokohama Geolander all-terrain tires, battery protection, and fabricated skid plates.  Those tires bump its ride height a little but not by much. Shockingly, the ID.4 did not get a lift kit of any sort.

Now, the drivetrain in the ID.4 itself was also untouched.  With a motor for each wheel, the VW ID.4 makes 295 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque.  The EPA rates its range at 249 miles.

And to ensure the ID.4 had enough juice to complete the course each day, a mobile EV charging station followed electrified vehicles for mid-day and evening charges.

VW Rebelle Rally ID.4 front driving down desert path

Modified ID.4 tackles 1,400 miles of desert

Conquering The Wild In The ID.4

Having a great vehicle is only one part of finishing the Rebelle Rally.   Because a great team is the other half.  In Mercedes and Emily, Volkswagen found a perfect match.  The combination is only the second EV to ever finish the Rebelle Rally.  Last year, the Rivian R1T also finished the race.

Senior VP of Marketing at Volkswagen America, Kimberly Gardiner said “We’re incredibly proud to have worked with Mercedes and Emily to demonstrate the capabilities of our all-electric ID.4 and to show that all the fun things we can do with cars will remain as we transition to electric… the Rebelle Rally offers a truly unique experience to highlight the awesome talents of women in motorsports. We couldn’t have asked for a better debut of the ID.4 AWD in this competition.”

VW Rebelle Rally - navigator and map

Girls Only!

Rebelle Rally Takes Two

The team in the ID.4 loved it too.  “Riding in the ID4 was a very unique experience…once we were familiar with how the battery performed in different types of terrain it let us play: using all the power it had to get through difficult terrain and allowing us to conserve battery in others,” said Emily Winslow.

It’s remarkable that a vehicle like the ID.4 AWD Pro, which anyone can buy right now, is capable enough to crush something as difficult as the Rebelle Rally.  It’s a great example that many vehicles made today are far more capable than we give them credit for.