The 2021 Rebelle Rally was good for Jeep. Its new Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid became the first electrified vehicle to complete the annual women's off-road endurance event, taking first and second place. Another Wrangler (non-4xe) took third, completing the sweep, and five of the top 10 finishers in the sixth-annual running of the 1,500-mile desert course.
First place went to 4xEventure, with Nena Barlow and Teralin Petereit at the helm of Wrangler 4xe # 129, which never finished lower than third in any of the Rebelle Rally's seven stages. Team Jeep Thrills, driven by mother-daughter team Christine and Emily Benzie, brought the #177 Wrangler 4xe in second, taking one stage win. These two teams also put Jeep's entrants 1-2 in the Bone Stock category to boot. Jeep also sponsored Team Asdzáá Skoden Rebelles (#160) of Shandiina Peters and Racquel Black, the first all-Navajo team to compete in the Rally.
"The course was more challenging than ever this year, but the Wrangler 4xe made it easy," said Nena Barlow of Team 4xEventure. "We torqued up dunes and rock-crawled mountains and washes with ease and efficiency. Not to mention, we never lacked for range or power."
"The Jeep brand has supported the Rebelle Rally since the beginning six years ago and, this year, we were excited to showcase the new Wrangler 4xe in the most difficult off-road rally conditions," said Jeep Vice President Jim Morrison, in the company's announcement. "It’s a testament to our teams in the race and our engineering teams at home that this year Jeep Wrangler swept the podium, with two Wrangler 4xe SUVs placing first and second overall, as well taking the Bone Stock and electrified awards without a single issue the entire Rally. Congratulations to everyone who rallied this year."
Jeep has now taken the overall victory in five of the Rebelle Rally's six runnings to date. We expect manufacturer competition to get stiffer as the hot 4x4 segment continues to expand, and we're sure Ford would like to see its revived Bronco on the podium sooner rather than later. Jeep might be hearing hoofbeats, as Shelby Hall and Penny Dale placed fourth in a Bronco.