2023 Kia Sportage X-Pro rally car ready to smash competition

Updated Sep 29, 2022 | Same topic: Automotive Industry Updates

Kia is looking to bounce back after a second-place finish last year.

The next-generation Kia Sportage may be a relatively new release but it is not shy of competing at a high level. Kia announced that it will return to the Rebelle Rally for the third year in a row with the Sportage.

Kia Sportage front view

Kia Sportage X-Pro rally car

To equip the Kia Sportage with the off-road essentials, the Korean automaker teamed up with Therese Contreras and Sara Morosan, owners of LGE-CTS Motorsports and Baja Forged off-road products. The Sportage rally car gets a wrap inspired by the brand’s new slogan, Baja forged front and rear bumpers, skidplates, and 17-inch Rhino wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich all-terrain T/A K02 tires.

In the X-Cross class, teammates Verena Mei (driver) and Tana White (navigator) will work in tandem to complete the 2,414-km navigational challenge. They look to bring it home after placing second and third with the two Sorento PHEVs last year. Kia also had a run in 2020 with a Telluride, finishing second after the Ford Bronco Sport.

Kia Sportage with rally team

The team is ready to rock

At the heart of the rally car is a 2.5-liter inline-4 engine with 187 horsepower. An 8-speed automatic sends power from the engine to all four wheels via an active all-wheel-drive (AWD) system. Catch all the action at the Rebelle Rally happening from October 6 to 15.

“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 Kia America COO and EVP Steve Center.

“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,” added Center.

Kia Sportage rear view

Redemption time

Of note, the Rebelle Rally is not a race for speed. It is rather a competition that’s based on precise navigation that features hidden checkpoints. Competitors use maps, compass, and roadbook for directions and are not allowed to use mobile phones or global positioning system (GPS).

The Kia Sportage iteration that will compete in the all-women off-road navigational challenge hasn’t made its way into the Philippine market just yet. But the upcoming rally race can stage what we can expect from the next-gen compact crossover if Kia Philippines decides to bring it in.

See the latest motorsports events at Philkotse.com.

Know more about Kia Sportage 2022

Kia Sportage

The Kia Sportage 2022 Philippines is a 5-seater compact crossover that is competing in the local market in its fourth-generation version. It is still unclear as to when will the fifth-gen arrive on our shores. In the local market, it is available in three variants with a price that ranges from Php 1,290,000 to Php 1,820,000. Under the hood, there are two engine options. First is the 2.0-liter gasoline engine that makes 153 horsepower and 192 Nm of torque, while the second option is a 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine good for 182 horsepower and 400 Nm of torque. Diesel variants use an 8-speed automatic with Shiftronic, while the sole gas variant gets a 6-speed automatic transmission.

In terms of dimensions, the Sportage is 4,480 mm long, 1,855 mm wide, and 1,645 mm high (1,655 mm for top-spec GT-Line). It also comes with a wheelbase and ground clearance rated at 2,670 mm and 172 mm, respectively. In the local market, the Korean compact crossover goes up against the likes of the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Subaru Forester.

₱ 1,290,000 - ₱ 1,820,000

Rex Sanchez

Rex Sanchez


Rex Sanchez grew up in Saudi Arabia where he saw and got into the automotive scene. He started his career for an aviation company in the said region, writing about turbines and rotors which are later distributed for educational purposes. And now, he joined Philkotse.com as a staff writer. Currently, he is the youngest on the team and is more than ready to grow in the field.

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