The desert expanse of Southern Nevada and California more closely resembles Mars than it does Earth—no water for hundreds of miles, powerful dust storms, and few signs of civilization to speak of. No matter how easy the car commercials make it seem, one doesn’t just casually off-road through this type of terrain without an airtight plan or a trustworthy co-pilot.
For this year’s Rebelle Rally—an annual 1,500-mile, all-women, off-road race across the Mojave Desert—Kia’s team has the advantage of a successful history. In their second year tackling this harrowing tournament together, professional motorsport driver Verena Mei and five-time Rebelle Rally navigator Tana White implicitly trust each other to handle the challenges and triumphs of the race. In 2021, the Kia team narrowly missed coming in first place.
This year, Mei and White worked with Kia’s engineers to outfit their vehicle—a custom 2023 Kia Sportage X-Pro—for their rugged needs.
In this exclusive pre-race video interview, the Kia Rebelle Rally duo shares their road rules from previous years, hopes for the 2022 competition, and strategies for keeping each other entertained throughout the eight-day drive.