Infiniti Caps First Rebelle Rally With Successful Run In Challenging Off-Road Navigational Competition
October 26, 2020 by Infiniti
•Specially prepared QX80 flagship SUV conquers difficult off-road navigational challenge of more than 1,200 miles for 10 days
•Team Wander Women, Driver Nicole Wakelin and Navigator Alice Chase, finished among top 10 for rally rookies
•INFINITI celebrates all-female Rebelle Rally field with more than 35 teams
YOKOHAMA, Japan —
Luxury without capability is just a missed opportunity.
On Saturday, Team Wander Women and the specially prepared 2021 INFINITI QX80 crossed the finish line after 10 days spent mostly off-road, traveling more than 2,000 kilometers in the 2020 Rebelle Rally, a navigational challenge that stretches from Lake Tahoe near the California-Nevada border to the Imperial Sand Dunes near the U.S.-Mexico border.
Team Wander Women, automotive journalists and mothers Driver Nicole Wakelin and Navigator Alice Chase, finished the demanding competition in the American West with smiles after the long haul. In their first Rebelle Rally, the team amassed more than 800 points during the endurance contest and netted a top-10 finish among first-time competitors. Merely finishing the rally is an accomplishment for any team; this year's competition featured the longest stage in the rally's five-year history, and the 2020 route may have been the most challenging yet.
'This was one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences I've ever had,' Chase said. 'I'm so grateful to have done this with Nicole and with the support of INFINITI. The QX80 was the perfect third teammate to tackle this demanding off-road challenge.'
INFINITI entered its first Rebelle Rally this year with the award-winning QX80 SUV that was modified to tackle the challenge. CALMINI Products, Inc., prepared the stock Coulis Red 2021 QX80 with a 3-inch lift, off-road suspension, custom front and rear bumpers, heavy-duty control arms, thicker skid plates, all-terrain tires wrapped around 18-inch Off-Road Monster wheels, and a flotilla of off-road tools including recovery boards, water cans, and an air-up/air-down kit.
The modifications complemented an already-robust package in every QX80. A stout 5.6-liter V-8 that makes 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque powers every QX80 and is shifted through a seven-speed automatic transmission to the rear or all four wheels. The QX80's confident All-Mode® 4WD system and Terrain Select system delivers the right power for the right circumstances — Rebelle Rally or around town.
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The QX80 pairs that kind of capability with a leather-appointed interior with luxurious seating for up to eight passengers including the driver, dual high-definition touch screens, climate-controlled front seats, and INFINITI's innovative Smart Rearview Mirror camera-based system that projects a clear view for the driver from the rear on a 9.6-inch digital display, which was enhanced for the 2021 model year. Bose premium audio and tri-zone climate control provided respite to Wakelin and Chase along the course — whether at the base of 14,505-foot-tall Mount Whitney, which is the tallest peak in the contiguous U.S., or at Badwater Basin at 282 feet below sea level, the lowest point in America.
'The flagship QX80 is built for nearly any challenge. We're proud of Team Wander Women, and we're proud of our QX80 for delivering luxury and off-road capability in the demanding Rebelle Rally,' said Eric Rigaux, general manager of product planning and strategy for INFINITI Motor Company.
The Rebelle Rally was the third #QXploration challenge for INFINITI, including excursions in the Gobi Desert and Jordan. The series showcases the inherent capability and prowess of the INFINITI QX range and demonstrates how owners can explore rugged and exotic territories from the comfort of their INFINITI's finely appointed cabin.
'From beginning to end, the QX80 handled virtually everything we threw at it. At every turn, the QX80 handled the terrain with comfort and grace — on a mountain, dune, or anywhere else,' Wakelin said.