Is there no driving challenge beyond the scope of Toyota’s mighty Hilux? The legendary pick-up has completed a journey across Antarctica to the South Pole, further proving the go-anywhere qualities that helped it become the first car to be driven to the Magnetic North Pole in the 2007 Top Gear Polar Challenge.
The expedition also demonstrated that Hilux has advantages over snowcats when it comes to being a sensible transport choice. It can travel much faster, uses significantly less fuel and can carry more passengers – in more comfort, to boot. And thanks to the quality of Toyota’s 3.0 D-4D engine, CO2 emissions are lower.
Hilux models were requested as support vehicles for the Amundsen Omega3 South Pole Race, a 483-mile skiing challenge celebrating the historic rival expeditions of explorers Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott. The Hilux Double Cabs were prepared for the extreme conditions by Arctic Trucks, the Reykjavik-based company which also fettled the Top Gear challenge machines.
Towing custom-built trailers, the Hilux at times had to cope with loads up to 2.5 tonnes – 1.5 tonnes more than their specified capacity, and were also newly fitted with a system to melt snow while on the move, using heat from the engine. Pressed into service to ferry supplies, scientists and team support groups and to carry out reconnaissance duties, the four Hilux have covered more than 2,000 miles each across the rough, frozen terrain in temperatures as low as -30C.
Hilux has already proved its worth as a workhorse of choice for scientists based at Camp Novo and other Antarctic research stations, and is being reviewed as the solution for future transport requirements in the area, demonstrating beyond doubt its ability to tackle the world’s toughest environments.
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