Infiniti QX80 To Participate In The 2020 Rebelle Rally With ‘Wander Women’ At The Helm

You may not think "off-roader" with the QX80, but it's based on the truck-based Armada

Team 142 Wander Women and Infiniti partner up and run the 2020 Infiniti QX80 at this year’s Rebelle Rally. [Photos: Infiniti]

Infiniti’s largest SUV is going off-road racing

The 2020 Infiniti QX80 may seem a bit posh for bounding through the desert, but it’s actually based on a a serious off-road brute. Just like the Nissan Armada, the Infiniti QX80 is based on the tough-as-nails Nissan Patrol. With a similar power-source residing in the new Nissan Titan, this QX80 will have a 400 horsepower, 5.6-liter V8 producing that makes 413 lb-ft of torque  A seven-speed automatic transmission and center locking 4WD system are part of the package.

TFL Studios has driven dozens of QX80s and Armadas over the years. They are remarkably well-bolted together and compliant on all terrains. Besides, if you think this ride is too luxurious for the rally, our fiend Emme Hall won the event with navigator Rebecca Donaghe last year – in a Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

Nicole Wakelin will pilot the QX80 in this years rally. Other than safety equipment and racing identification, these vehicles will remain stock.

What is the Rebelle Rally?

This is the fifth year of the Rebelle Rally. The rally will take place October 8-17 going through the California and Nevada desert. 20 all-female teams will drive production vehicles in both the four-wheel drive and crossover classes. On top of that, there is an EV class which is new for 2020.

Scheduled to run over 2,000 kilometres, participants are only permitted to navigate using maps, a compass and a route book. Along the journey, they must find various checkpoints with time checks.

No GPS or outside help is permitted.

“At INFINITI, we believe that luxury should be lived in and there are few who will test that theory more than our team in the Rebelle Rally this year. Ten days navigating the desert in a QX80 will certainly showcase that our flagship SUV has as much grit as it has grace,” said Phil York, INFINITI general manager of global marketing.

Infiniti
Alice Chase, navigator for Team Wander Women must rely on non-GPS navigation. No computers, no satellites, no filters – just real navigation.

Team Wander Women

The all-new (Team 142) Wander Women team consists of two automotive journalists.

Nicole Wakelin (driver) of New Hampshire. She has written for Autobytel.com, NAPAknowhow.com, Boston Globe and Wakelin is a juror for the Women’s World Car of the Year.

Alice Chase (navigator) of Texas runs Thrills and Wheels blog, her family’s blog – Thrill of The Chases and she writes for MotorBiscuit and The Sylva Herald.

Unlike racers like Hall and Nena Barlow, team Wander Women has not participated in any official rally or racing event. They have covered the Rebelle Rally before and both are automotive journalists with off-road experience.

“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, Rebelle Rally. “The entry is a testament to our motto, ‘the vehicle in your driveway is more capable than you realize.'”

You can follow team Wander Women’s rally on INFINITI’s Twitter, Instagram and YouTube channels and www.rebellerally.com.

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.