Ready to tackle a 1,200-mile desert adventure.
This year's Rebelle Rally is being very well-attended by manufacturers. Lexus is bringing something special, Nissan has a modified Frontier entered, and even Kia is bringing along a best-selling Telluride SUV. Rivian's electric truck is also racing, and now Infiniti has revealed that the QX80 will also be there. But, unlike the Kia mentioned above, Infiniti's entrant will not be standard. However, thanks to the fact that the QX80 is almost identical beneath the skin to the Nissan Armada, the modifications made haven't been too extreme. Although most buy luxury cars like the QX80 for their comfort and styling, the big Infiniti is actually seriously good off-road.
Still, some changes were required and Infiniti shipped the pictured model to Calmini Products for a three-inch lift kit, custom steel bumpers for better approach and departure angles, stronger skid plates, bigger control arms, off-road shock absorbers, and 18-inch Off-Road Monster wheels with Nitto Terra Grappler all-terrain tires.
The drivetrain - with its 5.6-liter V8 making 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque - has been left stock but full-size spare tires in a custom cage, an air tank for changing tire pressure, tow straps, and fire extinguishers complete the rally machine.
Starting near Lake Tahoe and ending just north of the Mexican border at the Imperial Sand Dunes, the grueling trek is just the kind of event that the Infiniti QX80 can show off at, especially since the team is using the four-wheel-drive version.
In case you don't know, the Rebelle Rally is a 1,200-mile event for women only and prohibits the use of any electronic navigation aids. Entrants must rely on old-school paper maps, a compass, and their wits to complete the rally. The Infiniti here will be piloted by Nicole Wakelin and Alice Chase, two seasoned motoring writers, under the banner "Team Wander Woman".
"We are excited to welcome INFINITI in this year's Rebelle Rally. As the ultimate proving ground for vehicles, we look forward to seeing the QX80 showcase its abilities through the course's wide variety of terrain," said Emily Miller, founder of the Rebelle Rally. "The entry is a testament to our motto, 'the vehicle in your driveway is more capable than you realize.'"
If you're keen to see how each team performs, the event starts this week on the 8th and comes to a close on the 16th.