All-women Rebelle Rally has a laundry list of manufacturers participating, with Ford as the champ.
If you haven't heard yet, the all-female 2021 Rebelle Rally goes off this weekend and lasts until October 16, starting near the Hoover Dam and ending at the Imperial Sand Dunes in California. These last few weeks have seen a bunch of manufacturers join in the fun including Nissan with the Frontier pickup, Mitsubishi with the Outlander PHEV and others. Today it's Kia's turn.
Driver Alyssa Roenigk and navigator Sabrina Howells will take on the challenge again, this year in a 2022 Kia Sorento PHEV for the 1,500-mile race featuring no cell phones and no GPS. Competitors have to use a map and compass to find hidden checkpoints, dodging all manner of unique obstacles through the desert. Last year the team came in second place in their class in a 2021 Telluride.
A second Sorento PHEV will tackle the rally as well, with Rebelle rookie, but motorsports vet Verena Mei at the wheel with Tana White doing the navigating. Both teams will be competing in the X-Cross class with the "electrified" designation.
"The Sorento Plug-in Hybrid plays a pivotal role in the launch of Kia's Plan S electrification strategy and the Rebelle Rally is the ultimate proving ground for us to showcase our commitment to sustainable mobility, even off the beaten path," said Sean Yoon, president & CEO, Kia North America and Kia America. "We're proud to have two incredible teams put the Sorento PHEV through its paces and introduce Kia consumers to a new, electrified way of outdoor exploration."
The Sorento Plug-In Hybrids will be minimally modified, according to Kia, sporting the same 66.9-kW electric motor and 1.6-liter turbo four combining for 261 hp as the stock car. The PHEV has an EPA-estimated 32-mile electric driving range, which is the best of any three-row PHEV SUV, says Kia. It has a combined overall range of 460 miles. Kia is also an official sponsor for this year's race, which prides itself on its low impact on the environment.
"We are honored to have Kia return and continue to support us," said Emily Miller, founder of the Rebelle Rally. "This partnership is a natural fit considering we both share the same values in sustainability, and we are eager to experience seeing the Sorento PHEVs withstand the elements in our electrified program."