Rivian R1T makes history as the first EV to win the off-road Rebelle Rally

Rivian earned its place in the history books over the weekend. The Rivian R1T won the longest off-road rally in the US, the 2023 Rebelle Rally, in a pure EV for the first time.

Started in 2015, the Rebelle Rally is the longest off-road rally in the US. It was initially created to allow the growing community of women to display their savvy off-road skills.

Teams navigate a 2,500 course across the desert, rock, and stone, with intense heat and wind. The teams can only use paper maps, compasses, and plotters. No GPS or other digital navigation tools are permitted.

Rivian has participated in the event since 2020, entering the competition with a pre-production R1T electric truck. For the second straight year, Rivian employees were behind the wheel of the vehicle they helped design, build, and support.

As another first, Rivian’s customer team, driven by Mandy Brezina and navigated by Alex Gilman, completed the rally in a personally owned, pure EV.

As Mandy’s fourth appearance, the team customer team placed 11th. The winning team (Limestone Legends) were also Rivian employees, with driver Lilly Macaruso and navigator Alex Anderson.

Lilly is a special projects engineer at Rivian, while Alex is a senior mechanical engineer at the EV startup.

Rivian Rebelle Rally team (Source: Rivian)

Rivian R1T becomes the first EV to win Rebelle Rally

“We learned and grew so much from training to competition. I experienced areas of the world I never imagined I would see as we swept across valleys, mountains, and dunes, all sustainably and nearly silently in our R1T,” Alex explained.

This was Lilly and Alex’s second appearance at the event after placing fourth last year and earning the Rookies of the Year award.

2023 Rebelle
Rally Rank
1 2023 Rivian R1T
2 2024 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe
3 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor
4 2020 Toyota 4Runner
5 2023 Ford Bronco Raptor
6 2023 Ford BroncoWildtrak
7 2019 Lexus GX460
8 2023 Land Rover Defender
9 2018 Jeep JL
10 2005 Toyota Tacoma
11 2022 Rivian R1T
2023 Rebelle Rally winners (source: Rebelle Rally)

The 2023 Rivian R1T beat out a 2024 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe, 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor, 2020 Toyota 4Runner, and other off-road vehicles from Land Rover, Lexus, and others. Three Rivian R1T electric vehicles placed in the top 20.


Electrek’s Take

As the first EV to win, the Rivian R1T shows the world it can compete head-to-head with the best in an off-road competition.

Rivian has only been building vehicles since September 2021, a little over two years. With OTA updates and new technology, Rivian continues improving its all-electric adventure vehicles with longer ranges and added features. And this is just a preview of what’s to come, according to the company.

Rivian plans to reveal its first R2 models next year, which will be more affordable, opening up an entirely new market for the EV startup. The R2 lineup is expected to launch in 2026.

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