Off-Roading

Rebelle Rally teams overcome elements, mechanical failures to conquer 1,700-mile course

At the end of the Rebelle Rally, participants drove their vehicles to Broadway Pier in San Diego for a public car show and their awards ceremony.

Photo by Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

The recipe for a Rebelle Rally team is straightforward. Take two adventurous women and combine them with analog navigation skills, basic emergency vehicle rescue techniques, and an off-roading-worthy vehicle. Add in a dash of hardiness, good communication skills, and a sense of humor. Marinate for 10 days in California and Nevada's forests, mountains, and deserts. On the last day, bake in the heat of the sun.

The journey itself is anything but simple. Rebelle Rally founder Emily Miller and her team spent months discovering and plotting the course for the navigation challenge, which had its beginning at Lake Tahoe and its end at the Imperial Sand Dunes near the U.S.-Mexico border. Desolate wasteland, tight corners, bulging dunes, craggy trails, and flats were all on the menu. Though the teams likely didn't take the time to stop and enjoy the views, Miller joked during the end-of-event celebration in San Diego on Saturday, the scenery was spectacular.

2019 Rebelle Rally team navigation Rebelle Rally participants were unable to use modern technology to help guide them on the course.Photo by Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

At the beginning of the journey, temperatures hovered near freezing. By the time the teams reached the dunes, it topped 100 degrees in the abundant sunshine.

The course consisted of a number of check points which garnered the teams points. Green check points, all of which were mandatory, were the easiest and marked by flags. Blue were harder to find with only a few of them marked by flags while the rest were designated by posts. Black check points proved the most difficult with no official markings indicating that the team had arrived at the destination.

2019 Rebelle Rally Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Team 207 ran a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross in the event and ended up with second place in the Crossover category.Photo by Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

How many points the teams earned depended on how close they were to the correct coordinate positioning when they signaled in that they had arrived. They competed in two classes – 4x4 and Crossover. At the end of the race, the team in each category with the most points would leave the desert as the winner.

The 2019 Rebelle Rally ran 1,700 miles and featured 76 women paired up in 38 teams from 67 cities in 20 states/provinces in six countries. The vehicles were as diverse as the drivers themselves, with everything from stock vehicles to specially modified rigs.

None of the going was particularly easy. Team 200, driving a Rolls-Royce Cullinan, suffered during the Johnson Valley stage getting three flat tires. They could only carry two spares, so the teammates had to patch one of the punctures and hope for the best heading to Glamis, California and the final day of the competition. Taking on an extra tire would have resulted in a 50-point penalty and the standings were tight.

2019 Rebelle Rally Land Rover LR4 Team 164 had to be towed back to Base Camp after rolling their Land Rover LR4.Photo by Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

Team 210, driving a 2017 Subaru Crosstrek, lost their clutch during that stage, putting them out of the competition, but the event's mechanics were able to replace the clutch overnight making them able to complete the event though they no longer were eligible for points.

On the last day of competition, Team 164 rolled their 2013 Land Rover LR4 in the Glamis dunes, causing multiple windows to break, the windshield to crack, and airbags to go off. The Rebelle Rally support team was able to rescue the team quickly and towed their Land Rover back to base camp.

Later that evening at dinner, longtime Rebelle Rally competitor and 35-year Army Veteran Rachel Ridenour presented the Land Rover team with a large sticker featuring the image of a rolled over SUV and a phrase favorited by Forrest Gump. In front of the Rebelles, as term Miller uses to refer to the competitors, Ridenour reminded the group of a favorite saying of hers, "There are two types of off-roaders. Those that have rolled and those that haven't rolled yet." The crowd roared with laughter and applause.

2019 Rebelle Rally End Day Stage Glamis Rebelle crossed the finish line at the end of each day not knowing how many points they had earned. They would be told several hours later.Photo by Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

The Rebelle spirit of survival and overcoming obstacles is something that Miller doesn't just promote. She lives it as well. As a respected off-road racer and adventurer in her own right, the competition is just as personal for her as it is for the competitors.

Though Toyotas, Jeeps, and Land Rovers are often thought of as the champions of the off-roading space, the teams piloting them did not come out on top in the Rebelle Rally results.

When all was said and done, Team 190 driving a stock 2019 Lexus GX 460 took top honors in the 4x4 category. The Crossover class was won by Team 200 in their 6,000-pound Sapphire Blue Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

"This Cullinan is a hundred percent more capable than I thought it would be," said Team 200 driver Emme Hall during the awards ceremony Saturday at Broadway Pier in San Diego. "I thought we were going to have to go really slow through a lot of things. I thought we were going to have problems in the dunes. I thought it was going to be too heavy … Every single time, every day, it proved me wrong."

Each year, the Rebelles prove a lot of people wrong, including themselves, by rising to the challenge and pushing themselves and their vehicles to the limits.

Trending News

 
 

The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo brings an adventurous spirit to the table.

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

Imagine a Porsche 911 with a long, wagon-like back end and you end up with something like the Porsche Panamera. Make the 911 a Taycan, Porsche's fully-electric sports sedan, give it a wagon-like back end and increased ground clearance, and you have the 2022 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

Porsche says that the new model "draws on the strengths of its sport sedan sibling" giving buyers an idea of what to expect - a performance-focused driving style, sure-footedness, and a refined interior. The increased ground clearance via a standard air suspension and added cargo capacity make the Taycan Cross Turismo more adventure-ready.

The fresh body style give rear seat occupants 0.35 inches more legroom and 3.62 inches more headroom. With the rear seats folded, there's 42.8 cubic feet of cargo space, about 10 cubic feet less than what's in the 2021 Porsche Macan. With the seats erect, the differential is in the Macan's favor by just under two cubic feet (15.7 vs. 17.6). The Taycan Cross Turismo has 2.9 cubic feet of cargo space in the front, something the Macan doesn't have (because that's where its engine is).

2022 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

Roof rails are standard. A roof transport system and rear-mounted bike rack are available via Telequipment. The Off Road Design Package adds additional body cladding and raises the ride height an additional 10 millimeters (0.39 inches).

The boutique automaker will launch the model in four grades: Taycan 4 Cross Turismo, Taycan 4S Cross Turismo, Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo, and Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo. All models will features dual-motor all-wheel drive, a two-speed rear transmission, Porsche Adaptive Suspension Management in conjunction with air suspension, Performance Battery Plus and its 800-volt battery architecture, adaptive aerodynamics, a panoramic glass roof.

The Taycan Cross Turismo will come standard with a Gravel drive model, meant for driving situations that need more traction than most. But, in no way should the car be considered anything more than dirt-path ready. The car is quipped with more cladding than the traditional Taycan in order to prevent paint chips and body damage.

Porsche says that Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo can accelerate from a stop to 60 miles per hour in 2.7 seconds while the Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo can make the sprint to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds. The Taycan 4S Cross Turismo and Taycan 4 Cross Turismo can get to 60 mph in 3.9 and 4.8 seconds respectively.

Three years of free Electrify America charging is also included with every model.

Buyers will be able to order theres in a number of color ways, interior schemes, and Cross Turismo specific items such as the Off Road Design Package and 20-inch Off Road Design or 21-inch Cross Turismo Design wheels. There are 21,000 total combinations based solely on variant, wheel choice, exterior color, and interior selection.

Porsche's PCM infotainment and navigation system are standard. Wireless Apple CarPlay, Function on Demand, Plug and Charge capabilities, Apple Music, over-the-air updates for three years. Bose and Burmester audio systems and 14-way power-adjustable seats with massage functionality are available.

Adaptive cruise control, park assist, a head-up display, and lane keep assist will also be available.

The Taycan Cross Turismo models start at $90,900, not including the $1,350 destination charge. The Taycan Cross Turismo is expected to arrive at U.S. dealerships in summer 2021. EPA range figures will be announced closer to market launch.

Trending News

 
 

The Land Rover Defender has gotten a beefier engine option for the 2022 model year.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

The new generation of the Land Rover Defender came to U.S. shores last year with a heaping helping of anticipation from buyers. With initial orders fulfilled, the company is upping the ante to bring an improved and more powerful Defender to North America for the 2022 model year.

The additions will mean that both the 2022 Land Rover Defender 90 and 2022 Land Rover Defender 110 will have nine grades available for purchase. The Defender 90 and Defender 90 S are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.

2022 Land Rover Defender The Land Rover Defender has a long history of V8 engines.Photo courtesy of Land Rover

Moving up to the Defender 90 X-Dynamic S, X-Dynamic SE, X-Dynamic HSE, or X will get you a 395-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter mild-hybrid six-cylinder engine that achieves 406 pound-feet of torque. The new supercharged 5.0-liter V8 gets 518 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque in the V8 and V8 Carpathian Edition models.

The same engines are available in the larger Defender 110 and have the same power. The Defender 110 and S trim levels have the turbo-four. SE, X-Dynamic SE, X-Dynamic HSE, XS Edition, and X have the mild-hybrid under the hood. The V8 and V8 Carpathian Edition have the V8.

Land Rover has also upgraded the SUV's Pivi Pro infotainment system. It's now available in a 11.4-inch screen option that features curved glass and with new operating system touch screen optimization to make interacting with the screen easier. Wireless device charging is now standard.

2022 Land Rover V8

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

1 / 31

The new V8 engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It can get the Defender 90 from zero to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and has a top speed of 149 mph. Opting for the V8 gets buyers the new Dynamic drive mode within the SUV's Terrain Response system. Models equipped with the power plant also get anti-roll bars and a unique electronic active rear differential with yaw controller. V8-powered Defenders also get their own induction and exhaust systems that are designed to enhance the vehicle's soundtrack.

Each of the V8 models is available with a Carpathian Grey, Yulong White, or Santorini Black paint job. The grey and white-colored models have a contrasting Narvik Black roof.

The interior of the vehicles features seats trimmed in Ebony Windsor Leather with Mike Suedecloth and Robustec accents. The cross car beam has a satin black finish and the steering wheel is finished with an Alcantata rim. Leather is wrapped around the airbag housing and gear selector. V8-scripted treadplates complete the look.

2022 Land Rover Defender XS Edition

2022 Land Rover Defender XS Edition 110

The 2022 Land Rover Defender XS Edition replaces the Launch Edition in the company's lineup.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

The new Defender XS Edition replaces the First Edition for the new model year. It has body-colored lower cladding, lower wheel arches, and 20-inch Satin Grey contrast diamond-turned alloy wheels. Buyers can choose their model with either a Silicon Silver, Hakuba Silver, Gonwana Stone, or Santorini Black paint job.

XS Edition models also get 12-way heated and cooled seats finished in Ebony Grained leather and Robust Woven Textile. The cross car beam features a light grey powder coat while leather extends throughout the cabin and illuminated metal treadpates compete the look.

Buyers also get a stand electronic air suspension, Terrain Response drive modes, tri-zone climate control, cabin air ionization, adaptive cruise control, rearview mirror, and a 10-speaker Meridian sound system.

2022 Land Rover Defender V8 Carpathian Edition

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

1 / 5

​The flagship Defender V8 Carpathian Edition is unique not just because of some badging and extra supple leather. It also has a bespoke chassis settings designed to deliver new levels of engagement and agility on- and off-road.

The model is only available in Carpathian Grey with a Narvik Black roof, hood, and tailgate. It wears bespoke badges, has Satin Black tow eyes, and is adorned with Carpathian Gloss front and rear skid pans, front grille bar, and Xenon Blue brake calipers.

The interior of this model is the same as the traditional V8 offering.

Land Rover is also offering a number of new packages to enhance the model. The Bright, Extended Bright, and Extended Black Packs feature unique exterior design touches. A Defender with the Bright Pack wears Noble Chrome front and rear skid pans, and a Noble Chrome grille and badging. The Extended Bright Pack adds Ceres Silver to the lower body cladding and wheel arches. A gloss black finish on those components comes as part of the Extended Black Pack.

Prinvg for the 2022 Defender 90 and 110 will be announced at a later date.

Trending News