Off-Roading

What is the Rebelle Rally? These are the ins and outs of the 2020 off-road contest

The Rebelle Rally kicks off this week. Take a look at what it means to participate.

Photo courtesy of Rebelle Rally

You've heard about the Rebelle Rally. Perhaps you've seen in the photos online, read about it in the New York Times, opened the latest issue of your favorite magazine and saw a profile of the driver. Maybe that girl you knew from high school is a participant. No matter how it happened, Rebelle, as the in-crowd calls it, has piqued your interest and now you want to know more.

Scroll down to learn more about the 2020 Rebelle Rally.

What is the Rebelle Rally?

Rebelle Rally is not a speed-centric race. Rather, it's a navigational challenge.

Teams of two – a driver and navigator – relinquish their cell phones and all GPS and Internet-enabled devices and rely on old-world navigation to locate to checkpoints of varying degrees of difficulty using only a compass, maps, and roadbooks.

With precision driving in focus, teams drive through designated open off-highway vehicle areas across Nevada and California.

How long is the Rebelle Rally?

The Rebelle Rally is approximately 2,500 km, making it the longest off-road rally in the U.S.

Rebelle Rally

Photo courtesy of Rebelle Rally

"The fact is we designed the Rebelle Rally to specifically be a proving platform for manufacturer vehicles - the ones in your driveway. And it's meant for them to shine. That is the Rebelle by design. It's not a gimmick event - it's built for them and for the women who use their products, "said Emily Miller, founder, Rebelle Rally. "Their safety and performance depends on great products, and this is the place to showcase it."

What are the dates of the 2020 Rebelle Rally?

This year's contest runs October 8 through 17, 2020.

Who participates?

Rebelles, as the contestants call themselves, come from every walk of life. There's doctors, educators, mechanics, scientists, moms, writers, on-camera personalities, and more that come from nearly every walk of life to participate.

Teams have ranged in age from 22 to 72 years old, and hailed from 188 cities, 38 states and provinces, and eight countries since the rally's inception just five years ago.

The Rebelle Rally is a females-only event.

Are there different classes the vehicles compete in?

Rebelle Rally

Photo courtesy of Rebelle Rally

Yes. For the 2020 contest, there are two: 4x4 and crossover. The difference is simple. Crossovers are vehicle's built on architecture that is oftentimes shared with cars and focuses on daily driver capabilities, such as the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. Models that are part of the 4x4 class include trucks and true sport utility vehicles like the Nissan Frontier and Jeep Wrangler.

What is the Electric Designation?

Vehicles with the Electric Designation, minimal vehicle modifications are allowed. The organization worked diligently to launch the Electrified Designation as a "test program" for 2020, an authentic challenge for electric (EV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and hybrids. The EV and PHEV teams do not compete in a separate class, but directly in their intended class with allowances for on-course rapid charging.

"Since we first envisioned the Rebelle Rally, we knew it would be the ultimate true test of electrified vehicles available to consumers and we have worked tirelessly to make this happen," explained Miller. "Providing battery-based mobile rapid charging on course allows these vehicles to compete in the standard classes, an exciting and important component of the Electrified Designation."

The Rebelle Rally is partnered with Power Innovations, the industry leader in the development and deployment of consumer and corporate green power solutions, including challenging and rugged conditions like the Rally. The Utah-based company will provide all the power for the base camp, as well as on-course BEV 175 KW fast charging.

"We have a history of accepting challenges that have never been done before – things that a lot of people classify as unrealistic," said Robert Mount, President and CEO of Power Innovations.

Are the vehicles tracked?

Rebelle Rally

Photo courtesy of Rebelle Rally

For the safety of the participants and to ensure rules are being followed, teams receive two tracking devices and one satellite phone. These are distributed during Technical Inspection and allow course officials to track the vehicles and checkpoints. This equipment also allows teams to call safety officials in the event of an emergency, no matter how far off the beaten path they venture.

Are the vehicles specially equipped?

The rally encourages vehicles to include good off-road tires and underbody protection. Additionally, sturdy bumpers, removed lower air dams (if necessary), and additional lighting can be advantageous. Some vehicles are more heavily modified than others, based on their owner's needs.

What are the checkpoints?

Races are divided into Map & Compass Challenges and Rebelle Enduro Challenges.

Each day, teams navigate the terrain using maps, compass, and and roadbook to a series of 10 to 15 (or more) checkpoints. CP Guides, roadbooks, and score cards are distributed daily at the same time to each team.

Each checkpoint is worth a certain number of points. Those that are easy to find are worth the least amount while those harder to reach are worth more. There is no minimum number of checkpoints teams must reach each day.

To log their position as at a checkpoint, teams use a geo-locator that logs their coordinates. They must be as close as possible to the correct location position, which may be marked with a large flag, or simply just is a dot on a map.

Can Rebelles get help?

Rebelle Rally

Photo courtesy of Rebelle Rally

Teams are not allowed GPS or cell phones. Their phones are taken from them at the beginning of the race and returned to them at the end of the last stage. Often, teams spend their last evening of the event catching up on messages from friends and calling loved ones.

Competitors are responsible for general vehicle maintenance, which includes tire changes, tire pressure, and fluids. Mechanics are available during the competition and set up at the Rebelle Rally camp each night. Teams can utilize the mechanics but must pay for parts, etc. They are assessed a penalty for using the assist while on the course. Rebelles may receive mechanical assistance at the Base Camp (at the finish of a daily stage) without receiving a penalty.

Teams can help each other, however any outside assistance incurs penalties.

The close of the competition features an awards ceremony and gala in San Diego, California. Often, families will attend meet the Rebelles at the hotel in San Diego, arriving from across the country and, in a year other than 2020, the world. Rebelle Rally rules state that family and friends are invited to attend the tech inspection and finishing events, but are not allowed in the Base Camp, nor are they allowed to follow teams.

What if they crash?

Rebelles are responsible for their own health and safety, as well as that of the vehicle they are driving. Doing a rally, like the Rebelle, is inherently dangerous. Emergency personnel are close and trained vehicle rescue experts are on-hand should disaster strike.

What is the schedule like?

Rebelle Rally

Photo courtesy of Rebelle Rally

A typical day starts at 5:00 a.m. PT. That's when the Rebelles begin waking up and heading to eat breakfast. At 6 a.m. there's a competitor briefing and then it's off to the races starting at 7 a.m.

Rebelles typically start arriving back at Base Camp around 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Dinner is served at 7 p.m. and quiet hours are observed starting at 10 p.m.

How do I track the rally?

If you want to track the Rebelle Rally progress, including on a team-by-team basis, you can click here. Whereabouts are slightly delayed in being reported for teams' safety.

How has COVID-19 effected the Rebelle Rally?

The Rebelle is a remote, outdoor event with no spectators or outside assistance. Miller has hired a full-time COVID coordinator to monitor the health and safety of teams and staff; all will have to clear a COVID-19 test before the competition begins.

What are the prizes?

Rebelle Rally

Photo courtesy of Rebelle Rally

There are a variety of awards given out at the end of the Rebelle Rally.

  • 1st Place - The prize for winning a specific class is free entry into the following Rebelle Rally, bragging rights, and a custom trophy. Winners of the 4×4 and the Crossover class receive $5,000 in credit for each competitor toward the following year's entry.
  • 2nd Place - Custom trophy and non-cash prizes
  • 3rd Place - Custom trophy and non-cash prizes
  • Team Spirit Award - This special award is selected by the competitors and given to the team that displays the best attitude, helps others, and defines the Rebelle spirit. This team will have $5,000 donated to the charity of their choosing.
  • Bone Stock Award - This is the team that gets the highest score in a completely "Bone Stock" vehicle, one without any modifications beyond off-road tires. One will be awarded for each class.
  • International Cup - The highest scoring International team gets $2,500 donated in their name to the charity of their choice. An International team is defined as two teammates, non-US citizens or holding dual citizenship, and a valid non-US passport. A minimum one teammate must live full-time abroad.
  • Rookie of the Year -The highest scoring team comprised of two first-time Rebelle Rally competitors will win trophies and Suunto winner's watches.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Hummer EV will first be sold in the Edition 1 grade (shown above). Images of other trim levels haven't been released yet.

Photo courtesy of GMC Hummer EV

The good news is that the GMC Hummer has finally been revealed. The bad news is that all the grades of the Hummer EV won't be available right away. Scroll down to see all the time, prices, specs, and expected availability of each Hummer EV model.

2022 GMC Hummer EV Edition 1

2022 GMC Hummer EV

Photo courtesy of GMC

Starting at: $112,595
Available: Fall 2021

Range: 350+ miles
Power: Three motors/1,000 horsepower/11,500 pound-feet of torque

Standard features:

  • Watts to Freedom launch mode
  • Extreme Off-Road Package
  • 800-volt DC fast-charging capability up to 350-kilowatts
  • Infinity Roof with modular transparent Sky Panels
  • Interior badge
  • White exterior

2023 GMC Hummer EV 3X

Starting at: $99,995
Available: Fall 2022

Range: 300+ miles
Power: Three motors/800 horsepower/9,500 pound-feet of torque

Standard features:

  • Torque vectoring
  • 22-inch premium wheels

2024 GMC Hummer EV 2X

Starting at: $89,995
Available: Spring 2023

Range: 300+ miles
Power: Two motors/625 horsepower/7,400 pound-feet of torque

Standard features:

  • Four-wheel steering
  • CrabWalk
  • Adaptive air suspension
  • Available Extract Mode
  • Adaptive ride control
  • 800-volt DC fast-charging capability

2025 GMC Hummer EV 2

Starting at: $79,995
Available: Spring 2024

Range: 250+ miles
Power: Two motors/625 horsepower/7,400 pound-feet of torque

Standard features:

  • Super Cruise
  • HD Surround Vision
  • Digital Key
  • 22-inch wheels with 35-inch tires
  • Infinity Roof
  • Rear drop glass
  • MultiPro Tailgate
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  • 400-volt DC fast-charging capability

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The Volkswagen Arteon has been refreshed for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Americans aren't as in love with the Arteon as Europeans, but that won't stop Volkswagen from offering if for sale here, yet. The automaker, who has sold just over 2,600 Arteons this year, is pricing the 2021 edition to start at $36,995.

Only available as a sedan in the States, the Arteon will be sold in three trim levels: SE, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium R-Line. Each comes with an additional $1,195 destination and delivery charge.

The Arteon gets its power from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Its engine is paired with an eight speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is available in the SEL R-Line and up grades.

2021 Volkswagen Arteon The Arteon has been reborn inside for the 2021 model year.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Among the changes to the refreshed Arteon for the 2021 model year are its wide and wide hood, available illuminated front light bar, and fresh paint color options: Kings Red Metallic, Oryx White Pearl, and Lapiz Blue Metallic.

2021 Volkswagen Arteon SE (MSRP: $36,995)

The Arteon SE comes standard with front-wheel drive, 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, and LED taillights. It features keyless entry and has rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a leather-wrapped touch multifunction steering wheel, chrome window switches, and stainless steel door sills and pedal caps.

Twelve-way power-adjustable heated front seats, leatherette seating throughout the cabin, automatic trio-zone climate control, Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, navigation, wireless App-Connect, Bluetooth, two USB-C ports, a Wi-Fi hot spot, SiriusXM with 360L, and a rearview camera are also standard.

Each Arteon also comes with blind spot monitoring, forward collision assist, and rear traffic alert.

2021 Volkswagen Arteon SEL R-Line (MSRP: $41,595)

The Arteon SEL R-Line is avialable in front- and all-wheel drive. It builds on the SE grade, offering 19-inch wheels, an illuminated front grille bar, adaptive front lighting, panoramic sunroof, power-folding side mirrors, remote start, wireless charging, driver's seat and side mirror memory, translucent decor with ambient lighting, and leather seats.

The R-Line design accents include a front bumper with C-signature and rear lid spoiler in gloss black, black headliner, paddle shifters, contrast stitching on steering wheel and shift knob, and R-Line badging.

This model gets more standard drive assistance features including adaptive cruise control with stop and go, Lane Assist, Travel Assist, Emergency Assist, road sign display, rear park distance control, and Light Assist.

2021 Volkswagen Arteon SEL Premium R-Line (MSRP: $46,995)

2021 Volkswagen Arteon

Volkswagen has enhanced the Arteon for the 2021 model year with a thorough refresh.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The range-topping Arteon SEL Premium R-Line comes standard with all-wheel drive. It rides on 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and has a Harman/Kardon auto system, heated steering wheel with paddle shifters, massaging driver's seat, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, rear seat climate controls, an additional USB-C port, and power trunk. The model adds Park Assist and Area View.

The 2021 Volkswagen Arteon will be available in three trim levels and is expected to begin arriving at Volkswagen dealers in Q4 2020.

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