Hyundai Reveals Custom Santa Cruz for 2023 Rebelle Rally

The Brute Squad’s Hyundai Santa Cruz is photographed in Phelan, Calif., on Sep. 28, 2023.

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., /PRNewswire/ — Ahead of the eighth-annual Rebelle Rally, Hyundai Motor America is revealing the modifications and custom graphic wrap for the Brute Squad’s Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle entry. For the second consecutive year, the modified Hyundai Santa Cruz will be piloted by automotive journalists Jill Ciminillo (navigator) and Kristin Shaw (driver), aka “The Brute Squad”.

The Rebelle Rally is a grueling all-women, off-road navigational challenge starting and ending in the deserts of California starting Oct. 13. Over the span of eight demanding days, Shaw and Ciminillo will bravely tackle this adventure in a specially equipped Santa Cruz they call ‘Sandy.’ What’s more, they’ll take on this challenge with little more than a compass and paper maps to guide them – GPS and Internet-enabled devices are forbidden.

The Rebelle Rally Santa Cruz
The custom graphic wrap was created in California by Matt Marble, senior graphic designer and Kellen Gustine, junior exterior designer, Hyundai Design North America.

“As an artist, I’m excited to present the new livery scheme design of the Rebelle Rally Hyundai Santa Cruz, said Marble. “We were inspired by the natural ruggedness of the desert and worked to capture its beauty along with the adventurous nature of mountain journeys in every hue and line of our design.”

The Santa Cruz’s dramatic appearance was inspired by renowned typography, as well as the vibrant colors, logos, and decals popular among today’s outdoor enthusiasts. The net result is a modern-yet-retro aesthetic reminiscent of 1970’s design. The use of thick and prominent color blocking ensures vivid and saturated hues that create a striking contrast against the desert terrain backdrop. What truly sets this design apart is the eye-catching gradient sunset and bold mountain range in the foreground. Additionally, a cleverly designed horizon line tilts dynamically, aligning with the Santa Cruz’s movement as it ascends a mountain or dune, creating a subtle yet engaging connection with the surrounding landscape.

From a performance standpoint, the Rebelle Rally Santa Cruz only required minimal modifications versus the mass-production model. These improvements were developed by Hyundai Motor America model-line engineer Eric Buxton and experts at the Hyundai America Technical Center. A selection of off-road gear was sourced from Hyundai and leading aftermarket companies including Rally Innovations, Truxxx, Gear Off Road, and Falken Tires. The custom, precision-crafted bed rack has been purpose-built to securely accommodate essential equipment, including four MaxTrax recovery boards, full-size spare tire and wheel, and a pair of reliable shovels. This vehicle’s thoughtful combination of genuine Hyundai accessories and aftermarket enhancements shows customers how they can create a personalized Santa Cruz that suits their unique personalities and requirements. Modifications include:

  • Custom front bumper and skid plate for additional protection
  • Larger 17-inch Falken Wildpeak A/T3W off-road tires to enhance ground clearance and conquer rugged terrain
  • Rally Innovations front recovery mount with auxiliary lighting
  • Roof-rack-mounted light bar attached to Hyundai Genuine Accessory cross bars
  • Rear spare-tire mount with MaxTrax and shovel mounts
  • Truxxx lift kit (1.5-inch front, 1-inch rear)
  • Terratrip rally computer
  • An exciting graphic wrap showcasing the design elements embodied in Santa Cruz: ready for work, home, surf and mountain sports
  • Per Rebelle Rally rules, the Santa Cruz’s antennas have been disconnected to eliminate GPS

SOURCE Hyundai Motor America

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