Off-Roading

Diverse and inspiring Rebelle Rally participants take on 2,300 km wilderness challenge

Team Record the Journey is taking on the 2,000-mile Rebelle Rally route in a CUV that has been adapted with hand controls.

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.

The 2019 Rebelle Rally, an all-female off-roading competitive adventure kicked off this week in Squaw Valley, California. Among the 38 teams are a number that stand out for their beefy builds and courageous drivers.

Team #176: Escape the Paved

This team met under less than ideal circumstances. Rebelle Rally participants Sarah Homer and Lindsey Hunterwere first introduced when they were mucking out their houses after Hurricane Harvey struck in 2017 and they have become fast friends. Homer is a Houston, Texas resident and Director of Surgical Acute Care at Houston Methodist while Hunter is an engineer who now lives in Anchorage, Alaska.

They'll be piloting a 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor during the expedition and are sponsored by Ford Motor Company, Roush Performance, BuiltRight Industries, and Homer IP LLC Innovation Design and Graphics.

Team #106: Team Wild Grace

Driven and navigated by Sedona Blinson and Lyn Woodward, the team will be driving a 2019 Nissan Armada. Both previously competed in the 2017 Rebelle Rally and, like many other teams, has come back for another go.

Rebelle Rally Team Wild Grace Team Wild Grace will be driving the Nissan Armada Mountain Patrol across California.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Armada they're driving is the specially modified Armada Mountain Patrol. The rig is a world traveler, having traversed the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert and rock crawled in Moab, Utah. The SUV is outfitted with Nitto Trail Grappler tires; Icon Bronze rebound wheels; Rhino Rack Backbone System and shovel; Hi-Lift jack; Baja Designs XL80 lights, LP9 lights and light bar; Calmini bumpers, rock sliders, and a 6-inch lift; Icon coilovers; Warn Zeon Platinum 12S winch; Factor55 closeloop winch; and an ARB fridge, drawers, and twin screw air compressor.

Team #207: Record the Journey

The Rebelle Rally is all about overcoming obstacles and it's obvious even to the casual observer that Team Record the Journey will have to overcome more than most. Three-time Rebelle and Team Spirit Award winner and 31-year U.S. Army veteran Rachael Ridenour has partnered with Karah Behrend, a Houston, Texas-based U.S. Air Force veteran who is an adaptive athlete who uses a wheelchair.

Behrend is the first adaptive athlete to compete in the Rally. Mitsubishi Motors has specially equipped the 2018 Eclipse Cross the two will be adventuring in with hand controls and designated storage space for Behrend's wheelchair.

The partnership is the first step in Mitsubishi's new "Small Batch – Big Investment" corporate social responsibility initiative which allows a number of Mitsubishi vehicle loans to small nonprofits and start-up social benefit corporations to help support their local communities. Record the Journey, a non-profit run by Ridenour, will keep the vehicle after the Rally and use it for various charitable programming.

Team #124: Fueled by Chocolate

It's clear from their team name that teammates Kristian Rene and Chelsea Vachon love chocolate. So does their 1992 Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon, which has been re-engineered to run on a biofuel made from waste chocolate. Additionally, eighty percent of the vehicle is made from remanufactured or recycled parts.

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This is Rebelle We launch tomorrow October 11, 2019 There is no reality except in action. -Jean Paul Sartre LIVE TRACKING Make sure to follow us, Team #124 (#FueledbyChocolove), and the other Colorado teams--#105 Mile High Spirit Rebelles - Team #105 (Red FJ Cruiser), #154 Team Roads Less Traveled (White FJ Cruiser with orange and blue coloring), #130 Front Range Rebelles (Maroon FJ Cruiser) and #164 Team Anam Cara (Bright blue Land Rover Discovery) https://www.rebellerally.com/live-tracking/ YOU CAN GO HERE TOO: https://www.rebellerally.com/live/ REBELLE RALLY WEBSITE: https://www.rebellerally.com/ DAILY UPDATES https://www.rebellerally.com/daily-updates/ You can also follow Rebelle Rally on Facebook and Instagram at @rebellerally for updates too! You can attend the public awards ceremony and/or gala on the pier in San Diego! (Tickets for the gala must be purchased by October 11). The public ceremony is free and a great way to see the amazing women and the amazing vehicles they competed in! A great way to experience the spirit of the Rebelle Rally! https://www.rebellerally.com/product/2019-rebellation-awards-gala-ticket/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Thank you again, from the bottom of our hearts, for all the incredible support from our family, friends, coworkers, and amazing sponsors and partners! ❤️❤️❤️ SPONSORS Chocolove Always Be Rolling PARTNER Rainforest Alliance And extra special thanks for Timmy, Chocolove, @waltconway, G Box, @karsbykevin @samcofab @rebellerally @live2ridegr8snow @connortieulie @sethbeckton @sumprods @emily_offroad
A post shared by Kristian (@kristian__rene) on Oct 10, 2019 at 1:40pm PDT

This team originally hails from Boulder, Colorado, where Rene still lives, but Vachon is coming to the U.S. for the event from her home in Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia. They are sponsored by Chocolove, Rainforest Alliance, and Always Be Rollling.

Team #200: Team Jeeves

Using #PardonMe to promote their drive is appropriate for CNET automotive journalist Emme Hall and her co-driver Rebecca Donaghe, a producer originally from Houston, Texas who lives in Marina del Ray, California. They're piloting a specially equipped Rolls-Royce Cullinan from Lake Tahoe to San Diego- easily the plushest and most expensive ride on the journey.

The teammates have been competing together since 2016 and are the 2019 co-champion Rebelle Rally team. Hall and Donaghe are no stranger to adventure. The CNET host is an avid off-road racer and recently went to Monster Jam University to learn how to drive a 12,000-pound monster truck. Following the Rally, Dongahe is planning to cross Morocco over seven days riding a 50cc motorbike.

Team #130: Front Range Rebelles

Team member Kathy Locke is originally from Okinawa, Japan but family camping trips in California, Nevada, and across the Rocky Mountains as a teen in a 1978 Ford Bronco that most shaped her adventurous spirit. Locke is the Creative Director for Toyota Cruisers & Trucks magazine. Locke first attended the Rebelle Rally in 2018 as a journalist and is returning in 2019 as a participant.

Littleton, Colorado resident Stacey May is a self-employed designer and Locke's co-driver. She too has an adventurous spirit. A dozen years ago she traded in her Manhattan high-rise lifestyle to travel the U.S. in an 18' travel trailer with her husband. That lasted three years before they once again put down roots, this time in Colorado.

They're driving a 20118 Toyota FJ Cruiser that has a long list of sponsors: Toytec Lifts, ActionTrax, Colorado FJ Cruisers, Refined Cycle and Offroad, and Blue Crush Auto Glass The Art Consultant, LLC.

The Rebelle Rally runs through Oct. 19. You can follow the journey online at www.RebelleRally.com.

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The Nissan GT-R probably isn't the first supercar that comes to mind, but it's worthy of consideration if you're not all about being seen.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

You put the pedal down. A confident growl busts out the back end. The wheels may squeal, and you might too. It's not all about the power, though it has plenty. The 2021 Nissan GT-R delivers the type of drive experience that you're never going to get from an electric vehicle - and it's magnificent.

Godzilla has been in production since 2007 with nips and tucks and add-ons here and there along the way. It's not as sleek or stylish as the Audi E-Tron GT or even Audi's R8. There's no giant wing out back à la McLaren and certainly nothing Italian about it. The GT-R is it's own man.

Even areas of the country that are supercar-heavy, aren't heavy with GT-Rs. A Ferrari or Lamborghini is a bigger status symbol for adoring eyes. It's the real drivers out there who know that a GT-R is perhaps the better investment for someone who wants a supercar to drive, not just to be seen in. Its unique looks are subtle but properly athletic.

2021 Nissan GT-R Premium The car is capable as a daily driver but it can also push the limits during a track day.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

2021 Nissan GT-R Premium

The reason for that starts but doesn't end with Nissan's 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6. It rests below the hood, not behind your ears, and delivers 565 horsepower and 467 pound-feet of torque creating a visceral acceleration experience. It's enough to satisfy you, bring a smile to your face, impress those around you, and make you realize that Godzilla really is a beast.

The six-speed dual-clutch transmission in the GT-R Premium ($113,540 base price) manages the power nicely and shifts relatively smoothly - it's no Ford 10-speed automatic and that's okay. If you want a GT-R with a manual transmission, you'll have to upgrade to the NISMO model. Don't "save the manuals" me. So few people are buying them that they're becoming extinct despite your bumper sticker saying and hashtag. Most supercars don't have them. Nissan is just simply following an industry trend and the DCT is perfectly fine for drivers not spending the majority of their time on a track.

All wheel drive is standard on the model, meaning that the GT-R sticks to the road as you put it through its paces. That also means that you don't need to head home every time there's rainfall or snow in the forecast, and you can take corners a little faster than the local constabulary may prefer.

The car has athletic looks despite not conforming to the typical supercar design language.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

2021 Nissan GT-R Premium

Proper engineering has made the GT-R a great daily driver. It's fun to push it around the twisties on a winding road in the country during a long weekend, but it's also not a bad car to commute or run errands in (it has a real trunk!). Like any good supercar, the GT-R goes right where you want, when you want it, whether you're doing slow speed maneuvering around a neighborhood or putting the throttle down on the highway. The speed-sensitive steering calibration is spot-on.

Parts of the interior are dated, especially when compared to other vehicles in its price point. But none of those parts are enough to make the GT-R even the least bit undesirable. The seats are surprisingly comfortable and the ride isn't too harsh. Analog dials are a nice break for the eyes.

But the real reason you're in the GT-R isn't because of the the amenities. It's because you love to drive. Because you're confident enough to go with Godzilla rather than a flashy Italian or German. Because you understand that the car nicknamed after a fictional monster, and its gasoline-powered ilk, are in danger of going extinct as carbon neutral priorities seem keen on removing the type of visceral fun that internal combustion engines provide.

The car has analog dials in front of the driver.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

If we're going to have to make concessions to make the air and water cleaner, it would be nice if, on the other end of the spectrum, the powers that be let us keep having the muscle of the GT-R.

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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.

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