Infiniti is taking on the 2020 Rebelle Rally with a specially prepared QX80 full-size SUV, one that is entered in the all-female rally raid by automotive journalists Nicole Wakelin and Alice Chase who are participating in the over-2,000 km event that began October 8 at Lake Tahoe and ends October 17 at the Imperial Sand Dunes near the US-Mexico border.

Rally preparations for the QX80 were done by Calmini, off-roading specialists based in Bakersfield, California. Here, the 2021 Q80 was given a three-inch lift, off-road suspension components, customised front and rear off-roading bumpers for more demanding approach and departure angles, heavy duty control arms, thicker skid plates and 295/70R18 Nitto Terra Grappler G2 all-terrain tyres on Off Road Monster wheels, supplemented by a Powertank air-up tank and digital air-down kit.

Essential vehicle recovery items packaged into this rally-prepared QX80 include heavy-duty shackles and ropes, tow straps, Maxtrax platforms, a fire extinguisher, other safety items and two full-size spare tyres. These are stowed in a cage that is custom-fabricated by Calmini.

In terms of powertrain, the standard production 2021 QX80 features a 5.6 litre producing 405 hp and 560 Nm of torque, sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed automatic gearbox. Inside, also standard on the QX80 and in the rally vehicle piloted by Wakelin and Chase are a Bose sound system, tri-zone climate control, and a 9.6-inch display featuring a Smart Rear View Mirror (SVRM).

The Rebelle Rally requires participants to navigate the course without modern equipment such as GPS devices; only compasses, roadbooks and maps are allowed as navigational tools. Another automaker that is taking part in the fifth running of the Rebelle Rally is Lexus, which has entered the J201 concept, a supercharged LX 570 with 550 hp and 745 Nm of torque.

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