Infiniti is exploring new limits in the desrt with a special edition of the QX80, its biggest SUV. Following successful challenges in the Gobi Desert and Jordan, the next “QXploration” task: tackling the American West’s far-flung regions in an INFINITI QX80.
Today, the INFINITI team begins its trek in the 2020 Rebelle Rally — the first all-female navigational rally raid in the United States — with a rally-ready contender based on the 2021 INFINITI QX80 SUV. The specially prepared QX80 will tread through some of the toughest territories in North America along a 1,200-mile route from Lake Tahoe to the Imperial Sand Dunes near the U.S.-Mexico border. Teams must navigate each stage without modern tech; compasses, roadbooks, and maps are the only navigational tools allowed. The rally will be held Oct. 8-17, 2020.
CALMINI Products prepared the QX80 with minimal changes to the already robust architecture of the brand’s flagship SUV. A 3-inch lift, off-road suspension components, custom front and rear bumpers suited for demanding approach and departure angles, heavy-duty control arms, thicker skid plates, and chunky all-terrain tires were fitted to the QX80 for the adventure. Automotive journalists and mothers, Driver Nicole Wakelin and Navigator Alice Chase (Team Wander Women), will pilot the 2021 QX80 through the challenging terrain, ranging from rutted, tree-lined trails to punishing dunes — and everything in between.
The INFINITI QX80 is ready for the challenge. Heated and cooled, graphite leather-appointed seats designed for ultimate comfort — in traffic or on the trail — await Wakelin and Chase. A handcrafted and luxurious interior with dual touch screens for infotainment, Bose premium sound, and tri-zone automatic climate control are standard luxury features in every QX80 — including Team Wander Women’s modified QX80 — and provide respite from the world outside, especially in the middle of nowhere.
The INFINITI QX80 was chosen for the rally for its already-impressive capability and sturdy body-on-frame construction. The three-row, luxury full-size SUV is equipped as standard with a smooth 5.6-liter V-8 that produces 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque and shifts its power to the rear or all four wheels via a confident seven-speed automatic transmission.
A stock “Coulis Red” INFINITI QX80 LUXE was adapted for the adventure with Off-Road Monster 18-inch wheels, rally computer, a PowerTank air-up tank and digital air-down kit, Nitto Terra Grappler G2 295/70R18 A/T tires, and off-road performance shocks. Essential recovery items such as heavy-duty shackles and ropes, tow straps, two sets of Maxtrax platforms, fire extinguisher, safety items, and two full-size spares are all safely stowed in the spacious interior of the QX80 in a unique and secure custom cage fabricated by CALMINI specialists.
New for 2021, the INFINITI QX80 is equipped with an enhanced Smart Rear View Mirror (SVRM), which provides a crisp high-definition rearward view projected on a 9.6-inch display for the driver when passengers, cargo or lighting conditions obstruct its view. The enhanced SVRM is standard on all 2021 QX80 grades.