A Test of the Best: The Vehicles of the 2022 Rebelle Rally

A Girls Guide To Cars | A Test Of The Best: The Vehicles Of The 2022 Rebelle Rally - Hyundai Santa Cruz In The Rebelle Rally. Photo Rebelle Rally 1
Team Wild Grace'S Nissan Pathfinder. Photo- Instagram Via Team Wild Grace

Team Wild Grace’s Nissan Pathfinder. Photo- Instagram via Team Wild Grace

The Rebelle Rally hasn’t just increased in the number competitors every year, it’s gained popularity with manufacturers, too!

The Rebelle Rally is very much a proving ground for manufacturers to showcase exactly how their vehicles (and electric vehicles) can perform in the extreme desert conditions of Nevada and California. This fantastic article by Abigail Bassett that was published by Jalopnik discusses some unique vehicles and their relationship to the Rebelle Rally.

Bassett shares that in this year’s Rebelle Rally, there are eight different manufacturers supporting teams. Manufacturers have spent time and money designing and developing these vehicles, so it only makes sense that they would want to test them in real-world conditions. Where better to do that than in the harsh conditions of a remote desert environment?

Emily Miller, Rally founder and director told Bassett that “the manufacturers recognize the value of the Rebelle, not because it’s a women’s only car rally and it checks a box, but because they believe in this platform for their vehicles.”

Related: The Teams … and the Vehicles… We’re Watching Compete In the 2022 Rebelle Rally Off Road Competition

The Yellow Yetis! Photo: Rivian

The Yellow Yetis! Photo: Rivian

Rally Participants REALLY Know Their Vehicles

It’s a part of the competition, after all. But more than that, many competitors are engineers….mechanical, systems, and prototype engineers, product specialists, product developers, and technicians for automakers. They are seeing exactly what their products are made of, but they are also learning what they are made of as well.

The Rebelle Rally course throws everything its got at the competitor, the product and the vehicle with its weather, temperature, altitude and terrain. This type of course is meant to test these vehicles in various environments for which they were meant to be driven.

There are two classes of vehicles running the Rally, the 4×4 class and the X-Cross class, with several manufacturers running multiple teams. Team players this year are: Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Nissan, Ram, Toyota and Rivian.

Related: The Rebelle Rally Is Much More Than an Off-Roading Competition

The Just-In-Timer'S Toyota Shequoia. I Mean, Sequoia. Photo: Rebelle Rally

The Just-In-Timer’s Toyota Shequoia. I mean, Sequoia. Photo: Rebelle Rally

In the X-Cross class, the competitors are: 2023 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands, 2023 Honda Passport Trailsport, 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz, Kia Sportage X-Pro, and a 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition.

In the 4X4 class, the competitors are: 2021 Ford Bronco, Jeep Wranglers, (with a total of 18 Jeeps), 2020 Land Rover Defender, 2019 Lexus GX460, 2022 Ram Rebel, 2022 Rivian (truck and SUV), 2022 Toyota Tundra hybrids, 2016 Toyota Tacoma, a 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser, and a 2018 Toyota Sequoia.

Hyundai Santa Cruz Post-Wrap. Photo: Rebelle Rally

Hyundai Santa Cruz post-wrap. Photo: Rebelle Rally

Teams are Comprised of Rookies and Veterans Alike

The X-Cross class has a few rookies, two of whom I have had the privilege of working alongside as fellow journalists; Kristin Shaw and Jill Ciminillo. The pair are navigating their way in a 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz. Here’s a shoutout to these ladies: we are cheering for you!

Another pair of rookies come from electric automaker, Rivian. Because it’s electric, Rivian is making waves with the R1T (Truck) by placing 6th in the 2020 Rally and 5th in the 2021 Rally. The R1S (SUV) and the R1T rookies all are Rivian employees who are designing, building, driving and testing these vehicles. Pave the way on these unpaved roads, ladies!

Related: Tackling the Rebelle Rally, the Female-Only Off-Road Rally, As A Newbie

Plot Twist In Their Kia Sportage. Photo: Rebelle Rally

Plot Twist in their Kia Sportage. Photo: Rebelle Rally

So, Do You Wanna Rally?

If you want to know more about getting involved in the Rebelle Rally, Abigail Bassett, who ran the race alongside Beth Bowman in a Porsche Cayenne S in 2021, gave us some insights. “There’s a LOT to know about competing in the Rebelle Rally. It pushes you into uncomfortable and challenging situations,” she says. “Communication, patience, and humor are key. We’re all human, after all.”

Also key? Get some training! While the Rebelle offers training, Abigail advises to “get some off-road training and compass and map training on your own, too. Things get VERY competitive.”

And on a final note, Abigail says to “expect the Rally to change you. It will change the way you drive, and communicate, the way you look at the world, the way you care about others, and the way you look at life. It’s 10 days of intense, hard work, but it’s an incredible adventure.” Her teammate, Beth adds that “an adventure often means that there is some measure of discomfort, which is what makes it all that much more fun, once you’re on the other side. Adversity, in the right measure, shows us just how capable we truly are, and nothing beats the feeling of safely and successfully completing something that may have been scary, or intimidating when you started out.”

If you want to participate in next year’s Rebelle Rally, you should sign up right away. The 2022 Rally sold out before the 2021 Rally had even begun!

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I teach 6th grade social studies, travel the world in the summer, write auto/moto news between grading papers and... More about Tabatha Chovanetz