Infiniti just revealed an off-road prepped QX80 that will take on the Rebelle Rally this week. Beginning today, the Rebelle Rally is an all-female rally where racers navigate off-road terrain from Lake Tahoe to the Imperial Sand Dunes by the U.S.-Mexico border. It’s 1,200 miles of rough terrain, so the luxurious QX80 needed a little help to get ready for it.
The big bruiser of an SUV was handed off to Calmini Products Inc. in California for the prep work. It got a three-inch lift, heavy-duty control arms, off-road performance shocks, high clearance front and rear bumpers and thicker skid plates. The new Off-Road Monster 18-inch wheels are wrapped with chunky Nitto Terra Grappler all-terrain tires. We wouldn’t normally say this about an Infiniti, but this QX80 looks badass.
Calmini also added a PowerTank air-up tank and digital air-down kit to keep those tires at optimal pressure levels. Other extras include a rally computer, heavy-duty shackles and ropes, tow straps, two sets of Maxtrax platforms (to lift the vehicle for service if necessary), a fire extinguisher and two full-size spare tires secured in a custom-built cargo area cage.
Both drivers are automotive journalists: Nicole Wakelin and Alice Chase. They’re allowed compasses, roadbooks and maps, but no other navigational tools are available. The rally is scheduled to conclude on October 17.
Infiniti’s QX80 is a fine choice for this event, especially when you consider its underpinnings. The big SUV still uses a body-on-frame construction shared with the Nissan Armada. Nissan enthusiasts will also know that the Armada is based on the Nissan Patrol, which is a capable off-roading truck of an SUV sold in other parts of the world.