Kia Headed to Rebelle Rally with Modified 2023 Sportage X-Pro

09/28/22 ID: 19421
  • Kia America returns to the iconic all-women off-road navigational challenge for third consecutive year
  • Returning teammates Verena Mei and Tana White determined to outdo their outstanding performance from last year
  • 2023 Sportage X-Pro outfitted by LGE-CTS Motorsports will compete in X-Cross class

IRVINE, CA, Sept. 28, 2022 – Kia America is headed to the iconic Rebelle Rally for the third year in a row, this time with a 2023 Sportage X-Pro that has been modified to handle the harsh topography that makes up the 1,500-mile navigational challenge. Teammates Verena Mei (driver) and Tana White (navigator) return this year for redemption in the X-Cross class after placing second in the Sorento PHEV last year. 

“Kia’s longest running nameplate has a storied past of off-road desert racing with impressive results to boot in the Paris-Dakar rally and Baja 1000 race,” said Steve Center, COO and EVP, Kia America. “An incredible off-road contender back then, the latest iteration of the Sportage will build upon its legacy by tackling the arduous Rebelle Rally with finesse, especially with such a fierce team at the helm.”

To help further the success of the team out on the trail, Kia partnered with Theresa Contreras and Sara Morosan, the powerhouse-sister team and owners of LGE-CTS Motorsports and Baja Forged off-road products, to prime the 2023 Sportage X-Pro for the rally. Wearing a wrap inspired by Kia’s new slogan, “Movement that Inspires,” the Sportage dons custom Baja Forged front- and rear bumpers complete with tow points and a custom roof rack. Skidplates in the front, rear and underbody will help protect the Sportage’s underbelly, while 17-inch Rhino wheels are wrapped in BFGoodrich® All-Terrain T/A K02 tires, sponsored by Michelin.

This treatment enhances the already capable Sportage X-Pro, which is powered by a 187-hp 2.5-liter I-4 engine paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Made for outdoor adventures right out of the gate, the X-Pro comes standard with an Active AWD system and multi-terrain drive modes with Normal, Sport, Smart, and Snow.

In 2021, two 2022 Sorento PHEVs earned podium spots in the X-Cross class with second- and third place finishes. The previous year, a 2020 Telluride narrowly missed first place in the X-Cross class. Follow this year’s team on from Oct. 6-15.

Kia America – about us

Headquartered in Irvine, California, Kia America continues to top automotive quality surveys and is recognized as one of the 100 Best Global Brands. Kia serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and offers a range of gasoline, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electrified vehicles sold through a network of over 750 dealers in the U.S., including several cars and SUVs proudly assembled in America.*

For media information, including photography, visit To receive custom email notifications for press releases the moment they are published, subscribe at

* The K5, Sportage, Sorento, and Telluride (excludes HEV and PHEV models) are assembled in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts.

Press Release Information Accuracy Disclaimer
Information posted in press releases on the Kia Media website was accurate at the time of posting but may be superseded by subsequent releases or other information.