Volkswagen Reveals 382-HP Electric Rally Car

Electric Vehicles / 4 Comments

You're looking at the most powerful Volkswagen ID vehicle yet.

Save for its iconic hot hatch duo, Volkswagen isn't best known for making high-performance vehicles. Even its electric models, such as the ID.4, have been doused in common sense and boast middling performance figures. But the German brand has thrown its pragmatism out the window and unveiled a hugely exciting concept - meet the ID.Xtreme, an all-electric off-roader with 382 horsepower.

No, this isn't just a jacked-up ID.4 SUV with chunky tires and exciting graphics. VW has gone to great lengths to ensure the concept has some serious desert-bashing cred, thanks to the 18-inch off-road wheels, raised rally running gear, and a modified crash member with a bull bar. Thanks to the wonders of 3D printing, the automaker has manufactured bespoke fenders that are 1.96 inches wider than the regular model.

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Volkswagen has also closed up the underbody with lightweight aluminum, to protect the electric components from an impromptu trip into the bush. Aesthetically, the rather anodyne ID.4 has been beefed up with the aforementioned bits and pieces, along with a roof rack (LED light bar) and some rather funky orange and black exterior accents.

Curiously, VW hasn't provided pictures of the interior but notes the vivid livery continues within the cabin. Aside from the orange accents, the ID.Xtreme gains new seats and Alcantara appointments. We're guessing the rest of the innards are unchanged from the vehicle on which it's based.

Speaking of, Europe's largest carmaker used the sportier GTX variant as a starting point. As standard, the GTX model produces 295 horses. VW upped power by equipping the concept with a high-performance drive at the rear. The software was also fiddled with for extra muscle. "The modular electric drive matrix (MEB) has enormous technical potential," said VW's Silke Bagschik.

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In regards to sound, Volkswagen has created something rather unique. The ID.Xtreme features a sound generator in the wheel housing, which provides some driving noises. Active sound design often doesn't enhance the experience, but modern systems are getting much better.

The entire point of an electric vehicle is sustainability, and that's something Volkswagen takes rather seriously. You could see the ID.Xtreme as the ultimate form of recycling. What was once a disused test vehicle is now an exciting concept vehicle, that gains motivation from a used 82-kWh battery.

The electric performer will soon make its first-ever public debut at the ID. Treffen (a gathering of EV fans) in Locarno, Switzerland. Displayed alongside its ID family, it will certainly be the jewel in the all-electric crown.

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But here's the catch. There are currently no plans to put this road-going rally car into production. That's not to say it will remain a concept forever, though. "We are really eager to find out how the fans of electromobility react to the vehicle. Based on the feedback from our community, we will decide how to proceed with the project," remarked Bagschik.

He added, "For many of our customers, vehicles are much more than just a means of transport. With the ID. Xtreme, we are raising electric mobility from VW to a new performance level." This isn't the first time VW has attempted to use electric power to provide exciting performance. The incredible ID.R prototype traveled the four corners of the globe with the sole purpose of smashing records and giving EVs a good name.

Interestingly, this isn't the first time an ID.4 has been adapted for motorsport. In October last year, Tanner Foust Racing fettled with an example, prepping it for use in the all-women Rebelle Rally.

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