Off-Roading

As the 2019 Baja 1000 is about to start, Volkswagen announces 2020 entry

Volkswagen is taking its new Atlas Cross to Baja in 2020.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Race entrants and crews are heading down to Ensenada this week to take part in the annual Baja 1000 off road race. Volkswagen is already planning for next year, announcing that their Atlas Cross Sport R prototype race truck will compete in the 2020 Baja 1000.

The Class 7 Open Production Unlimited competition model was developed in conjunction with racer Tanner Foust and Rhys Millen. It is currently in the final stages of development and testing.

Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport R 2020 Baja 1000 The model was co-developed by Volkswagen, Tanner Foust, and Rhys Millen.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

"Racing as a sport has historically been limited to a very privileged group," said Saad Chehab, Senior Vice President, VW Brand Marketing. "However, Volkswagens competed at the very beginning of Baja racing, and we're excited to help keep the fun, youthful spirit of the competition alive by way of our Atlas Cross Sport R."

The model will get power from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that was first developed by Volkswagen Motorsport for use in its WRC and Rallycross programs. It can achieve 600 horsepower but has been detuned to get around 480 horsepower for the unique challenge of desert racing.

Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport R 2020 Baja 1000 The SUV has been heavily modified for the challenge of desert racing.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Foust, the 2019 ARX Rallycross champion, will be one of the drivers in next year's race. "I know what this combination of engine and drivetrain is capable of," he said. "I'm really excited to see this bit of Beetle DNA live on in the Atlas Cross Sport R and am itching to get behind the wheel."

The vehicle's livery will be crowdsourced. Volkswagen will be inviting designers from schools and colleges nationwide to participate in the design process with a competition that will be announced in early 2020.

Volkswagen will partner with The Conservation Fund to plant more than 1,000 trees for every mile raced during the 2020 Baja 1000.

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The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 is on sale now.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG
The all-electric range of the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 has been confirmed. The model is the first modern electric Volkswagen to be sold in the U.S. and a model that the German automaker is resting a lot of hopes on for the future of sales in the country.

The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro with all-wheel drive will achieve an EPA-estimated 260 miles of all-electric range on a full charge. The ID.4 Pro S and 1st Edition, which have more features and equipment and therefore weigh more, achieve an estimated 250 miles of range.

The EPA-estimated fuel economy for ID.4 Pro RWD is 107 MPGe in the city; 91 MPGe on the highway, and 99 MPGe combined. The ID.4 Pro S and 1st Edition does slightly worse achieving 104 MPGe in the city, 89 MPGe on the highway, and 97 MPGe combined.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4: Exterior The "1st" badging denotes the vehicle as a first edition model. Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

These new numbers come as part of a second round of EPA testing. Original testing found that the model did not quite hit its target.

How does that compare to other EVs? The Nissan Leaf Plus offers 226 miles of all-electric power. The Hyundai Kona Electric delivers 258 miles. Volvo's XC40 Recharge has just 208 miles of all-electric range but the Tesla Model Y can go up to 326 miles on one full charge.

First out of the Volkswagen gate will be ID.4 models with an 82-kilowatt-hour battery and rear-mounted AC permanent-magnet synchronous motor. That system delivers 201 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque.

At a public DC fast-charging station with 125 kW charging, the ID.4 can go from five to 80 percent charged in about 38 minutes. With purchase, ID.4 owners receive three years of unlimited charging at Electrify America DC Fast Chargers at no additional cost.

The 2021 ID.4 is on sale now, with pricing for the rear-wheel-drive ID.4 Pro starting at $39,995 MSRP, before a potential Federal tax credit of up to $7,500. The Pro S carries an MSRP of $44,495. The limited-run ID.4 1st Edition, which sold out the day the vehicle was launched, carried an MSRP of $43,995.

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The 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV is set to arrive on U.S. lots in the spring of 2023.

Photo courtesy of GMC

When it debuted over the weekend, GMC promised that the 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV would be packed with "tactical technology". Today, the company is giving a more in-depth look at what technologies you can expect to see in the SUV when it finally makes its way to U.S. dealerships in early 2023.

"GMC's Hummer EV SUV offers an exceptional balance of on-road performance and off-road capability, enhanced by a unique structure that allows for our signature open-air experience," said Al Oppenheiser, Hummer EV chief engineer. "New features debuting on the SUV reinforce its role as a tactical tool in almost any situation."

Among the new technologies are trail mapping, an available Power Station generator, Extract Mode, and CrabWalk. They combine with the Hummer EV SUV's dimensions, which make off-roading hospitable, to create a compelling vehicle, at least on paper.

Satellite-rendered trail mapping

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV

Photo courtesy of GMC

Think of this tech as trail navigation plus energy monitoring all in one. The redesigned myGMC app allows users to plan and navigate off-roading adventures while keeping an eye on charging locations and their distances fro off-road locations. This all results in a community-based energy forecast. Routes and plans can be downloaded from the app on the driver's phone and projected on the vehicle's infotainment screen to be used while driving.

"It's technology that adds to the Hummer EV's immersive driving experience," said Mike Colville, senior manager for EV complex feature integration and execution. "More than simply locating a destination, we help you find an epic one, create an EV-unique navigation experience when you get there and allow you to share your trip with others."

Once pushed to the in-vehicle system, the Hummer EV SUV's 13.4-inch infotainment screen and 12.3-inch driver information display share the appropriate information in the correct places for easy use.

Cameras everywhere 

From the same company that brought you 15 different camera views in the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado comes the available technology known as UltraVision. UltraVision offers 360-degree high-definition views with 14 camera views standard and up to 17 camera views the available underbody cameras that come on the Extreme Off-Road Package.

Selective power allocation

The Hummer EV SUV is nine inches shorter than the Hummer EV pickup. That allows it to be more maneuverable, with a turning circle of just 35.4 feet and four-wheel steer. That turning circle is tighter than what the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Toyota RAV4 offer.

The SUV's platform allows for 13 inches of suspension travel while climbing up to 60 percent grades, scaling 18-inch verticals, and fording water more than two feet deep. To do this, the Ultium drive system is able to allocate all the SUV's power to one wheel or split it between several.

This power allocation ability also enables the SUV's CrabWalk mode. Standard on 2X, 3X, and Edition 1 models. CrabWalk enables diagonal drive functionality.

Extract Mode

GMC is touting the Hummer EV SUV's adaptive air suspension with Extract Mode. Though details are scant on what Extract Mode may entail, the general thought around the industry is that it will be something similar to Mercedes-Benz's Free Driving Assist. That Merc tech is an off-road mode that helps drivers get free when they've managed to get their SUV stuck in sand or mud via a bouncing effect.

An onboard power generator

GMC will offer the Hummer EV SUV with generator technology that is similar to what Ford already offers in the F-150. The available Power Station generator enables 19.2 kilowatts of AC charging, generator functionality (120v/25A/3kW), and ability to charge other EVs (240v/25A/6kW). The Ford model's Pro Power Onboard system offers 7.2 kilowatts of charging capability. Earlier this year, theHyundai Ioniq 5 was teased with similar technology.

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