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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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Huots drove their 2014Mitsubishi Mirago for over 400,000 miles.

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

Jerry and Janice Huot spent 414,000 miles driving the Purple Won, but it wasn't their first choice. When the Huots arrived at White Bear Mitsubishi in White Bear Lake, Minnesota to trade in a Cadillac, they wanted a vehicle with better fuel economy. They saw that a Mirage got 44 mpg and they ended up driving it home.

The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage survived six winter in rural Minnesota. The only reason it won't be surviving its seventh is because White Bear Mitsubishi dealer principal Richard Herod III offered to trade them the for a new 2020 Mirage earlier this year. When they arrived at the dealership that day, they didn't plan on trading it in.

2002 Mitsubishi Mirage The Huots purchased the Mirage from White Bear Lake Mitsubishi.Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

"I had brought it into the dealership for regular service and was saying hello to all the people we've gotten to know there when Richard came by," said Jerry. "When he heard about how many miles we had on the car, he said he wanted to use it for advertising, so he worked with us to get great deal on a new 2020 Mirage."

The Purple Won arrived at the dealership for trade wearing a "Purple Won" custom license plate and a purple paint job. The couple conceived the vanity plate's message by combining the car's color with the nickname of Price, who hailed from and lived in Minnesota.

The Huots had a lot of fun over the course of those 414,000 miles. One year Jerry dressed up the Mirage with horns for Janice's birthday in honor of her favorite football team, the Minnesota Vikings.

The Mirage lived a full life of many acts. It served as a commercial delivery vehicle, hauled rocks and mulch for a landscaping project and required nothing but standard maintenance.

2002 Mitsubishi Mirage The car had over 414,000 miles on the odometer when it was traded in.Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

"Janice drove it mostly for the first 7,000 miles or so, but when winter came, she wanted all-wheel-drive, so she got a 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport," Jerry shared. "But then I started using the Mirage for my business. I am a courier. I deliver samples from various doctors' offices to labs, so I drive up and down the state and around town in Minneapolis all the time. The Mirage never missed a beat. It got me up and out of our gravel driveway, even in the middle of winter, when others got stuck in the snow."

2020 Mitsubishi Mirage The Huots with their 2020 Mitsubishi Mirage, complete with custom vanity plate.Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

The Huots never babied the Mirage. It was stored outside year-round. Naturally, it needed some repairs from time to time. "We had to replace the wheel bearings sometime after 150,000 miles, and the starter motor was replaced at somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 miles, but that was all covered under warranty," Jerry said. "Otherwise, regular oil changes seemed to do the trick."

The Huots haven't divulged if they have any mileage goals for their new Mirage.

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Acura has teased the forthcoming MDX with this photo.

Photo courtesy of Acura

The redesigened versions of the 2022 Acura MDX and 2021 Nissan Armada will be revealed on December 8. The Armada will go first, bowing at 11 a.m. EST. The MDX will make its appearance at 2:30 p.m. EST.

2022 Acura MDX

Acura previewed the 2022 MDX earlier this year, revealing the MDX Prototype two months ago. The new model will be the company's fourth-generation of its flagship SUV. Acura has already divulged that the three-row SUV will ride on a new light-truck platform and feature a double-wishbone front suspension (a first for the model) and will have a "sumptuously appointed interior loaded with an arsenal of new features and technologies".

2022 Acura MDX Acura previewed the model with a teaser photo. Lightening the photo in Photoshop reveals most of its body structure, which looks remarkably similar to the MDX Prototype.Photo courtesy of Acura

Acura has also confirmed that the SUV will continue to be powered by the company's 3.5-liter V6 engine, which will be mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The model will be available with all-wheel drive and arrive at dealerships in early 2021. An MDX Type S, Acura's first high-performance SUV variant, will follow in the summer of 2021.

The MDX is the best-selling model in its segment where it competes directly with the Infiniti QX60, which is also set for a redesign in the coming year.

2021 Nissan Armada

Changes to the Nissan Armada have been kept under wraps more than the MDX's revisions. There's a big clue, however, and that comes from the 2020 Nissan Patrol, a very similar model that is sold in the Middle East.

The 2020 Patrol refresh featured a new grille and boomerang headlights. At the rear, the Patrol received new taillights, a large chrome nameplate, and sequential rear turn indicators. The cabin featured a dual-display design with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Diamond-stitch quilted leather seats with added padding and a hand-stitched steering wheel also made its debut. Climate control and power lumbar support are available in the model. Nissan reduced the amount of noise and vibration that is passed on to customers and improved airflow distribution in the latest version of the SUV, which also get additional safety features.

2020 Nissan Patrol The Nissan Patrol gives a good idea of what buyers can expect from the refreshed Armada.Photo courtesy of Nissan Motor Corporation

It is likely that the 2021 Armada will receive the bulk of these enhancements. Additionally, there is likely to be the incorporation of Nissan Safety Shield 360 technology, which includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, and rear automatic braking. Nissan already employs this tech in 10 of its models.

The Armada is the sister vehicle of the Infiniti QX80. Improvements to the QX80, like a set of higher-resolution infotainment screens indicate that the Armada is also likely getting screen upgrades, and perhaps wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

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