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Toyota Antarctic Expedition: With the Toyota Hilux to the South Pole

Arctic Trucks
Toyota Antarctic Expedition
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D he Toyota Hilux is increasingly becoming a universal tool for them extreme challenges our planet holds in store. After a spectacular expedition to the North Pole and last year's boarding of the fire and ash-breathing volcano Eyjafjallajökull, we went to the other end of the world, to Antarctica, in December. Four Toyota Hilux drove to the South Pole.

The tour was not just a publicity stunt, but a serious scientific expedition. On behalf of the Indian National Center for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), the participants set out on their 4,600-kilometer extreme tour from the base station Novo Air Base to the South Pole and returned without losses. Noteworthy: A diesel drive was used with the 3.0 D-4D engine. An engine concept that, due to its design, usually cannot cope with extremely low temperatures than a gasoline engine.

Toyota Hilux from Arctic Trucks at the South Pole

The Expedition Hilux were once again converted by the Icelandic specialists from Arctic Trucks, who are very familiar with resilient “Bigfoot” conversions. The giant tires are necessary to better distribute the ground pressure of the heavy expedition vehicles and to be able to drive them over the snow instead of allowing them to sink in - similar to tracked vehicles. Arctic Trucks has retrofitted a total of eight Hilux for South Pole expeditions this Antarctic summer season, the first being the NCAOR tour. Its purpose: studies on the composition of the snow, the glacier landscapes and the rocks below the ice.

Toyota Hilux expedition with airplane fuel

For this tour, four Hilux were in action, which in addition to the scientific expedition equipment also carried plenty of fuel on specially prepared trailers. In addition to the participants and their equipment, each car transported 1,280 liters of fuel. Special Jet A1 aircraft fuel (kerosene) was used, which, unlike conventional diesel, can cope with the extreme temperatures. Because even though it is midsummer in the southern hemisphere, the expedition was confronted with temperatures as low as -56 degrees. Additional heaters in the vehicles compensate for this condition, and the engines ran around the clock. Nevertheless, fuel consumption was eight times lower than that of tracked vehicles otherwise used in these environments.Another specialty of the Antarctic are the mountains to be conquered. In contrast to the North Pole region, Antarctica is a huge continent, the expedition moved up to 3,400 meters above sea level.

Toyota Hilux at -56 degrees and over 3,000 meters above sea level

The small convoy covered a total of 4,600 kilometers in 18 days. The only problems with the mechanics were the axles, which were tortured by the giant tires, the extremely low temperatures and the retrofitted ultra-short gear reduction. Shortly before the end of the expedition, the entire rear axle of a Hilux had to be replaced, which the technicians quickly exchanged for the non-powered but identically tyred axle of a trailer.

Arctic Trucks: it continues at the South Pole

On December 1st, the convoy finally reached Novo Base again - overjoyed and satisfied. But that's far from it: Another Arctic Trucks expedition is currently on the way, assisting a ski race (!) From Novo-Base to the South Pole and back. In this campaign, two new Arctic-Trucks-Hilux are used, which were ammunitioned with an additional axle and 6x6 drive. We'll keep you up to date!


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