Rolls-Royce Cullinan goes off-road, wins the Rebelle Rally
Question for you, what do you think would happen if you took a $400,000 Rolls Royce Cullinan on a 2000 kilometer journey through the desert of Nevada and California, completely off road?
Are you kidding me?
My God, you are the best and she is the best.
I'm still in the game baby.
Would it sink in the sands of Glamis?
Would the rocks of Johnson Valley tear it up with the washboard pitted roads in northern Nevada blow out the air suspension?
Yeah, I was pretty curious about.
Too, so I took a Cullinan to the rebel rally.
This is a seven day off road navigational challenge with no GPS and it just happens to be for women.
All navigation is done old school style with just a compass and a map.
Think of it as a race, not for speed.
But as a rally scavenger hunt for check points.
Some are marked and they're pretty easy to find.
Some are unmarked and we have to rely on triangulation.
And just a little bit of intuition.
The challenge is twofold.
Know where the checkpoints are and get the car to the checkpoints in one piece.
My navigator Rebecca Donaghy and I won the four by four classification the previous year in a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, and the pressure is on for us to repeat that when with the Cullinan in the crossover category.
[LAUGH] Move off the line [APPLAUSE]
That was so exciting
My God [LAUGH]
Bye bye [LAUGH] All right.
Day one and we found our name for the Kalinin.
We called her Eleanor after the model for the spirit of ecstasy hood ornament.
Eleanor is a plastic lady.
6000 pounds unladen and 17 and a half feet long.
The good news is that the 6.75 liter twin turbo V12 puts out 563 horsepower and 672 pound feet of torque.
And it's made it to a smoother than silk, eight speed automatic transmission.
But if I **** this up as the driver, it might just ruin me financially.
The only thing to do was to push that thought from my mind and try to do my best day by day.
Did I ever tell you about the time I killed 21 rabbits?
No, no, no.
It was in a race though.
So I haven't aired down at all these tires.
We've got the winter tire package, the [UNKNOWN] is 44, I have an air down at all because the side walls are about that strong and we've got a lot of rocks.
And I don't wanna have those side walls droop over and it At all i mean it would be a more comfortable ride but I how can this drag it anywhere?
So we think our black checkpoint is around here somewhere.
This is when folks get really Like competitive and they, they kind of get sneaky about where they press their tracker cause they don't want to give it away.
And then if you really, if you look at it and you get it, you're like, yes, no, you'd have to be like all poker face until you get back in the car and still poker face.
And then you get like 10 feet away and you're like>> Or we go somewhere else.
And we pretend to press it.
[LAUGH] But we pressed at something else.
So, the thing is, this is a black check point for a lot of different groups.
So everyone is here, but you don't know.
I mean, some people might have [UNKNOWN] different, some people
Might think they have it right.
Take a heading, yeah.
I'm gonna take a heading.
So you're not really sure.
So that's why people think that you can just follow other competitors, but you really can't because you don't know where people have plotted their points so you have to go Go off of your plot.
You know what?
[UNKNOWN] I love you dearly, but you have to stop beeping at me.
We got an error message.
Battery supply just says stop carefully power supply and then it doesn't give us anything else.
Just says stop carefully and call roadside assistance.
Alright so it's only day two, we've already made it to the dunes.
We're out here at Big dune in Nevada, you can see all of that loveliness back there.
We're searching for a black checkpoint.
So far the Rolls is doing really well, I've aired down to about 30 and I don't wanna push it in these dunes only because I don't wanna get stuck I know that she can go up into these first hills.
But honestly, if I don't have to go there, I'm not gonna because Time management is the name of the game today.
So I gotta go help my navigator.
I'll see y'all soon.
So, why am I going so slowly here?
Well, Eleanor got a bit stuck in the dunes but a little digging and some max tracks.
We freed her up pretty quickly.
I threw my shovel in the back and we took off but she would only make a walking speed.
Do you guys need, what do you need help with?
I don't know what to do.
Now, my first thought, this is the power failure from yesterday, it's coming back to haunt me.
We had a [INAUDIBLE] Six minutes to make it to the next checkpoint before it closed.
We watched helplessly as Rebecca's watch counted down the minutes and we crept along with the green flag in sight, yet completely out of reach.
Hey, Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, I don't think this one closes
I couldn't have been more wrong in my assessment of Elainore's power failure, turns out I didn't close that rear door all the way [LAUGH]
Lets go, lets [BLEEP] Go
[LAUGH] Are you [BLEEP] kidding me My [BLEEP] God.
I'm so in the game baby!
So for a little background, we got a little stuck cuz it was soft, dug out.
I opened the back door to get the shovel and didn't close the door fully.
A funny thing, when you don't close the door fully, if your Rolls-Royce
It doesn't give you full power.
And then we just saw while we had that weird power supply light, and then I was like, well, I might as well get out and shut my door.
Yeah, it was a safety system that was hindering my progress.
Once I closed the door Eleanor took off with all 563 horses galloping and full cancer.
Something [UNKNOWN] [LAUGH] I thought this driver is supposed to be self closing.
You get them close [UNKNOWN] they suck themselves in.
[UNKNOWN] they don't.
[INAUDIBLE] We ride late at the check point, I got out throw my.
[UNKNOWN] On the ground and I cry, all I can think it was Roy Royce and Rocho have trusted me with this vehicle and I let everybody down, I was a terrible driver heck I couldn't even close a door.
I've never cried in competition before.
And frankly, this was not my finest hour.
Now in order to get our heads back on straight, we decided to forego a few points in the dirt and take the highway instead.
But the rebel rally is all about expecting the unexpected and it turns out we had our first flat tire.
Alright, so here's where we got that little.
Slowly puncture, and I guess just try to shove it in.
What do you think?
Yeah, you can do it all.
Just shoving in.
[SOUND] All right.
We are handy tire plug kit, and plug it, maybe up and we got a new another spare.
After this flat tire, my fears were coming to fruition.
I mean, these tires are decidedly not meant for off-road.
It's gonna be up to me, as a driver, to take care of them, keeping my eyes peeled for rocks and always taking the safest route.
Day three would take us through three open off-highway vehicle areas crisscrossed with tracks and washes
Making Rebecca's job, to say the least.
Jesus that's Son of a [BLEEP] Left.
No straight, yeah.
Left, left, left.
Sorry, sorry, sorry.
We got it.
We got it.
We got it.
So I've been, And carrying around this toothbrush for like a day and a half, and this is the first time I had a chance to use it.
So we're at a C before the black.
I'm brushing my teeth.
It's so good.
This does have hill descent control.
However, I've never been a fan of it.
I just don't like it makes me nervous to let the car do that much braking.
So I'm going to break on my own.
I'm looking at, Whatever, easy.
Which way do you want me to point it?
So the way they do these black check point is you have a radius in which you get full points.
I'm not sure what this one is, but usually it's 25 or 50 meters.
And they have a step in which you would get not full points.
So usually 25 meters, sometimes it's 50.
And then they have final boundary.
Three, that you can get a point.
And if you are actually outside that boundary, it's considered a wide miss and you are duct ten points.
We are 0.003 off on lap
My God, you're the best.
She is the best.
You're the best!
[SOUND] I mean, we don't know what that means as far as distance goes, so I'm really not.
But we just know that it's pretty good.
So far we are rocking day three.
Rebecca is spot on with her navigation and at the end of the day, we only skipped two checkpoints and we received 92% of the total points.
So we had one day one and day three in our class and despite our tire worries and our power code T200's feeling pretty good.
Awesome, awesome, awesome.
Gorgeous, if anyone is coming up this road, I'm going to kill them.
Going to climb right over them on my rolls.
The Rebel rally has 35 teams from all over the world participate.
And one of our favorites was team record the journey with adaptive athlete Kara Baron behind the wheel.
What's your name?
Hey, I'm Kara Baron.
This is Rachel right now.
Hi, I'm applauding [LAUGH].
She is, we're here with Team Record.
The journey in our 2017 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.
So you wanted to talk about some hand controls, right?
So over here we have our set up.
We have this beautiful suicide knob that Nick Iver set up for us.
And then, over here we have the break and the gas.
So we push in for break and we pull
out for gas.
This, you guys ready to get some on the road?
Or are we gonna go off the road.
I think were gonna go offroad.
I think we should.
We're gonna offroad.
Of course it's not all hard work.
I mean sure we tent camp each night but we have showers and toilets available, theres a mess tent and we have Drew Deckman.
Michelin starred chef providing the food.
The staff to competitor ratio is almost one to one and while we are out working hard doing our absolute best, the staff has their own rally, setting up base camp driving the media around and performing MacGyver mechanics on the fly, and keeping us safe.
Once we got the map for day five, I knew it was gonna be killer.
This is the desert that I race in and I know it well.
It is rocky It's rough and it's no place for Rolls Royce.
When we got two flats at the same time in the morning of day five, I was freaking out.
We got two flat tires at once.
Another team stopped to lend us their floor jack which was a big improvement over the tiny bottle jack I had.
And Eleanor doesn't have wheel studs that you can just Push the tire onto and then secure with lug nuts.
Instead, we had to line up the bolt holes in the wheel and the hub now that's easy enough to do in a clean shop but it's really really hard to do in the dirt.
So we learned from our last tire mistake we're getting everything We have no time.
So, we were just reminded that we are indeed in a Rolls.
Because it feels like we're not, sometimes.
You are, cuz we got two flat tires at one time.
[INAUDIBLE] sharp rocks.
We did our best to stay on time and then once we got to T on Route, we rock the Rockets, boom, both of them.
All right, so today Here's what I'm worried about, today, after today.
Because these are just snow tires, they are not any kind of an off-road tire.
Where is it, right down here is a pretty good gash in my sidewall.
So I'm worried about that, right here.
And if you come around to the back, I can show you what
The Tigers look like right now.
So that's obviously not fixable.
So so far what I really learned about this vehicle is that because even though the tires are not so great, there's so much power and there's so much torque that he can overcome a lot of those deficient
Like, with these tyres I can't go very fast especially if it's a rocky uphill.
But I can go slow and I can really, really just kinda very gentle on the [UNKNOWN] And there's so much torque in it that it's fine going slow.
Whereas if I were in another crossover that didn't have as much power, I'd really have to keep momentum going up the hill, and I don't have to That really really helps.
Doesn't help all of it because obviously I am here with three days left in the rally, two days left in the rally and no spares but it helps a little bit.
Amy doesn't like to know our standings so I check our standings so that I can at least in my mind make some strategic decisions if we need to but we are currently Going first by 50 points.
All right, so right now we have our two spare tires, or they were on the car, have tears in them.
We've sewn one of them, and we're try [UNKNOWN] patch the inside.
And basically having a spare that we can carry along for [UNKNOWN] emergency.
At least to get us to a place where we get help if we need it.
And the first patch didn't work.
If we don't have any spare tyre, [UNKNOWN]
That's what we do [UNKNOWN] [SOUND]
So since we're trying to avoid all of the rocks today, this has actually been pretty helpful.
There is a 360 degree camera that puts a 3d image of the vehicle right there.
And all I need to do is turn this and I can see what is all around me on all like, I don't know how many that is eight different sections.
So it's been really cool to be able to look at
And not have to get out of the car.
Yeah, well yeah, we have gone to blacks today, we got all of our blues but we did have to skip a few blacks checkpoints just in the essence of time because I'm again going really slow trying to avoid rocks, and other obstacles so all we need to do is get this.
Get the grain checkpoint and then we're on pavement and a lot of my worries go away.
The Imperial sand dunes AKA Glamis are in the extreme south east of California.
At 40 miles long and five miles wide with few distinguishing features, there are a lot of ways to get lost out here.
Some of the larger dunes rise 300 feet or more from the dune flow, driving anything here is dangerous but it's especially so for a large mostly stuck vehicles.
You can only drive what you can see so navigators are constantly out of the vehicle and checking the other side of the dune.
And such teams can work together to mitigate the danger.
Rebecca and I usually keep a pretty fast Paste in the dunes but that was with the four wheel drive vehicle.
To be honest, I thought that the rolls would just sink in the dunes.
I mean she's got all this gear in her she's when 6500 pounds, and she's got these dismal snow tires.
But hey, I got 563 horsepower and 672 pound feet of torque.
Eleanor might just take it all in stride.
Three, two, one.
Have a great day!
Bye, the most unexciting start ever, starting at five miles an hour.
Navigating in the dunes is really tricky.
There are very few objects for Rebecca to navigate from, and it's a lot of head straight for 279 degrees for 2 kilometers.
The problem is that it's pretty impossible to go straight in the dunes, either there's some kind of vegetation or there's a bowl or there's a Razorback or something is in your way, the crossover class stays on the perimeter of the dunes and I'm pretty sure Eleanor could have gone in and much further thanks for excellent power train but regardless of vehicle nailing a black checkpoint and these conditions are.
Really difficult to say the least.
Are you kidding me?
They went into a turn too fast and rolled into [INAUDIBLE].
Are you guys digging with me?
That's what she just told me.
They said they were okay, but-
Like I said, dunes are dangerous.
shifting sand to steep declines and hidden witches eyes can endure day in an instant.
The team that rolled were okay and they were able to drive their rig back to Basecamp a testament to their mental and physical toughness.
This is the last day in Glamis and these are all the warning lights that are on the car.
So those are all the codes that it has thrown but we're still rolling okay.
Obviously I know about the low tire pressure that's fine that is on purpose.
The stop carefully power supply Supply, that happened on day one and it hasn't been a problem.
The continued driving possible, chassis, I don't know that means.
That just happened today.
It does say call service center at your convenience, so maybe it's not Too bad, reduce driver assistance.
The pedestrian warning isn't working, I think that's because there's dirt on the front sensors.
So throw in some codes today.
We ended up working with Record the Journey in the dunes because, well, we really like them.
They were in the battle for second place and we knew that if Rachel and Rebecca can work together navigating and if Cara could follow my driving lines, we can help them one step higher on the podium.
But as it turned out, Carol was killer in the dunes, often taking the lead.
And Rachel was able to interpret the map in ways that Rebecca hadn't ever seen.
In the end, the team record the journey beat us that day by two points.
Yeah, we did it.
At the end of day seven in Glamis, Rebecca and I crossed the finish line as the winners of the crossover class.
And we did it in a Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
The SUV that everyone said was just for poshity-posh hoity-toity types conquered the Rebelle with hardly a scratch on her aftermarket skid plate.
And we did it on snow tires, y'all.
The wind cemented Rebecca and I as the only team that win the rebel rally twice.
Once in each category and certainly the only team to win it in a car that cost as much as a house.
The Cullinan surprised me at every turn.
When I thought we'd have to move rocks her nine inch ride height just sailed right over him.
I was convinced her heavyweight would just make her sink in the soft sand but the god's of power and torque made sure we gonna.
Of the dunes.
In fact, I'm confident we could have easily kept up with the four wheel drive vehicle in the dunes have the course took us out there.
My only problem with the cullinan is the tyres with a good set of BF Goodrich coyotes or Nino grapples in place of those streets snow tires, Eleanor would be up for many and adventure.
I proved to the world that the Rolls-Royce cullinan isn't just a luxury mobile, even though 99.9% of its owners will never do what I did with it.
Sure her size means she's not quite suited to the Rubicon Trail, but she's still a worthy and opulent dirt Contender.
Wait, did I say contender cause I meant You know, last week I thought that the Rebelle Rally was never going to end.
And now that I'm here at the end, I feel like it just started.
I'm so happy to have been able to participate with all these incredible women on this life changing rally and man, that Rolls Royce, you guys, it surprised me every single day.
The power on it is incredible.
The comfort is incredible.
Does it have its faults?
I mean, sure those tires, not for off road at all.
But we came through we kept it together and I ended up as a winner.