Arctic Trucks-modded Toyota Hilux conquers Antarctica
You probably are already aware of the humble Hilux pickup truck offered by Toyota. It is pretty much everywhere in the Gulf, and is trusted by working-class businesses who are just interested to go about their daily routine without much hassles. But as the news goes, Toyota seems to have wrapped up an Antarctic expedition, over a span of four months, after traversing over 70,000 km.
And in the process, the company quite easily set a new world record with three specially-prepared Hilux pickup trucks, each covering 9,500 km of the frozen continent. Iceland-based ‘Arctic Trucks’ converted the pickups for their stint in the cold, and while the alterations included creating at least two 6×6 versions, the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engines had to be reworked to run on Jet A-1 fuel. In the low temperatures of the Antarctic, standard diesel would simply not aid the cause. But despite that Toyota still claim that the engine and the gearbox remained largely unchanged.
The trucks were also fitted with large tyres that were capable of running on just 2-3 psi of air pressure, so that a surface area about 17 times that of a standard tyre was achieved on unstable ground. Toyota reports the trucks ran incredibly well throughout the expedition and required no major repairs.
Starting last November, Toyota sent a team of 10 Hilux trucks to the far south to establish fuel depots, a weather station and to support scientific expeditions along the way.
This story comes at a time when Toyota is under pressure concerning the reliability of their vehicles. The Hilux first grabbed headlines when BBC TV show ‘Top Gear’ took two of these trucks, both modified by ‘Arctic Trucks’, and subsequently set a world record for being the first to reach the North Pole in a vehicle. Arctic Trucks also offers vehicles in the UAE via Toyota dealers.