That's a lot of confidence for a standard AWD SUV.
October 6 marks the start of the Rebelle Rally. For those unfamiliar, it's one of America's most grueling off-road drives.
It's also the longest off-road rally in America, and only women can participate. The rally has grown significantly recently, and several OEMs are now fielding teams, from Volkswagen to Hyundai to Kia.
Now, Nissan has shown its entrant, and one that's based on a car we quite liked: the Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek. It's Nissan's off-road take on the Pathfinder, set to be helmed by drivers Sedona Blinson and Lyn Woodward.
"Entering Pathfinder Rock Creek into such a challenging event in stock form stresses our confidence in the rugged SUV's capabilities on difficult terrain," said Nick Reese, director of Crossover & SUV Marketing, Nissan. "Our seventh entry into the Rebelle Rally is just the latest in a long line of off-road events where Nissan has enthusiastically proven its vehicles' credentials."
Nissan has said the Rock Creek will enter the rally's popular X-Cross class for vehicles without a two-speed transfer case. This is for smaller SUVs, crossovers, and pickup trucks. There's even a VW ID.4 done in rally-fighter style competing in the class this year.
Nissan didn't need to do much to the Rock Creek to get it ready for the rally. Of course, there is a special livery, as this is technically a race car, despite the rally not being about speed. As a quick aside, it's about finding hidden navigational points without GPS aids like a phone.
Regardless, the livery has apparently been inspired by the Pathfinder Rock Creek itself. Nissan says that the new wrap with its orange, yellow, and red mountain peaks was inspired by the Rock Creek's badge and interior accents. The blue was a more logical decision, as it'll help the Rock Creek stand out against desert terrain better if there's a problem.
That aside, the Rock Creek is reportedly entirely stock, which tells a lot about Nissan's faith in the truck. The truck gets retuned off-road dampers, A/T tires, a tubular roof rack, and standard 4WD from the factory. Nissan also bumps power and torque a bit.
Stock, the Pathfinder makes 284 horsepower and 259 lb-ft. In Rock Creek guise, that jumps to 295 hp and 270 lb-ft. The Rebelle Rally will run from October 6 to October 15, covering 1,500 miles of uninhabited desert terrain.