Guinness recognized a new world record for the fastest overland journey to the South Pole this week. The expedition occurred in December 2010, when two modified Toyota Hilux trucks travelled 1,434 miles across the Antarctic High Plateau in 108 hours.
That the average speed for the trip was just over 13 miles per hour gives an indication of the extreme conditions the drivers faced, at altitudes up to two miles above sea level. The expedition was organized by the Kazakhstan National Geographic Society and The Antarctica Company, and included four members: Konstantin Orlov and Stanislav Makarenko from KNGS, Andrey Myller from TAC, and Hlynur Sigurdsson from Arctic Trucks – the off-road tuning company that built the vehicles.
Arctic Trucks used 170-horsepower, 3-liter turbodiesel Hiluxes for the expedition build, modified to carry a whopping 285 gallons of fuel, 74 in tanks and the rest in the bed. The Arctic Trucks Expedition AT44 gets its name from 44x18.5 tires fitted to 15-inch rims and run at tire pressures as low as 2 psi. The four-by-four ice-crawlers have five-speed automatic transmissions with part-time transfer cases and a 2.566:1 low gear. Besides carrying up to 1.3 tons, the trucks are equipped to tow an additional 1.5 tons on a trailer. The AT44 weighs in at 4,960 pounds and manages about 5 mpg in the Antarctic snow.
Read the full press release after the jump.
Two Arctic Trucks AT44 Expedition vehicles have set a new Guinness World Record for the fastest overland journey to the South Pole, crossing 2308km of the Antarctica High Plateau from Novo to the South Pole in 4.5 days.
REYKJAVIK, Iceland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Arctic Trucks International (www.arctictrucks.com) announced today that a new world record of the fastest overland journey to the South Pole has been officially recognized by Guinness World Records.
In December 2010 two Arctic Trucks vehicles crossed 2308km of the Antarctica High Plateau from Novolazarevskaya station (Novo) to the South Pole in 108 hours (4.5 days). The purpose-built AT Expedition vehicles, based around a Toyota Hilux platform, traveled at an average speed to South Pole of 21.4km/h and average fuel efficiency of 2.2km/per liter, with only a single refueling stop on the way. An unofficial improvement on the record itself was achieved for the return journey, which was faster still at only 3.5 days, averaging 27.5km/h. No comparable speed or fuel efficiency has ever been recorded for high plateau expeditions in Antarctica. Arctic Trucks built vehicles have now clocked over eighty thousand kilometers on the plateau, proving new benchmarks for speed, range, reliability and fuel efficiency for overland travel in this area.
"This route to the South Pole is extremely challenging. Our vehicles are operating at altitudes up to almost 3500m, in ultra-low temperatures and in very difficult snow conditions. The vast distance is a challenge in itself, with up to 1500km between fuel depots. We are delighted to celebrate this new world record with the team, which also marks a growing recognition of the power of Arctic Trucks solutions for expedition use," commented Emil Grimsson, Executive Chairman of Arctic Trucks. "There is a fast growing interest from customers who are looking to supplement slower, less fuel-efficient tracked vehicles with faster, lighter and cleaner vehicles. We have great respect for the fragility of Antarctica and our vehicles have opened up new possibilities for scientific research programs to operate more efficiently in this environment."
The two Arctic Trucks vehicles used for this round trip were both Arctic Trucks Expedition AT44 models. Arctic Trucks designs and builds these vehicles based around the Toyota Hilux 3.0 liter turbo diesel.
The expedition was organized by the Kazakhstan National Geographic Society (KNGS) and The Antarctica Company (TAC). The core expedition team consisted of Konstantin Orlov and Stanislav Makarenko from KNGS, Andrey Myller from TAC and Hlynur Sigurdsson from Arctic Trucks.
Four further expeditions to the South Pole using Arctic Trucks vehicles are planned for the season of 2011, three starting from Novo and one from Patriot Hills.
Extreme World Races (EWR) will depart from Novo and support ski expeditions, scientific research and a BBC program using six Arctic Trucks built vehicles.
KNGS will make a new scientific expedition from Novo to the South Pole using three Arctic Trucks vehicles.
The Thomson Reuters Eikon vehicle will attempt to improve the current overland world record starting from Patriot Hills, a journey of approximately 1100km, using a vehicle designed and built for this challenge by Arctic Trucks, based around a Toyota Tacoma 4.0 liter V6, with additional styling by Ian Nisbett Design Ltd.
Antarctic Logistics Centre International (ALCI) will be setting up a fuel depot 1500km from Novo airport, on the top of the plateau to support aircraft and vehicles traveling from Novo to the South Pole. Two Arctic Trucks vehicles will make a return 3000km journey to identify a good location for the fuel drop, receive the parachuted fuel, set up the depot and clean the area.
For more information and high-resolution photos about Arctic Trucks vehicles and the Antarctica world record setting expedition see http://www.arctictrucks-expeditions.com.
About Arctic Trucks
Arctic Trucks International (http://www.arctictrucks.com) with its headquarters in Iceland, is a world-leader in the production of specialist high-mobility, extended capability and extreme performance vehicles for off-road use in challenging terrain and extreme cold. Arctic Trucks supplies vehicles for expedition, industrial, military, emergency services, adventure tourism and other professional uses.
Arctic Trucks, which was founded in 1990, is a second-stage manufacturer and modifier of vehicles, offering deep expertise and access to technology to extend the dynamic envelope of vehicle usage, as well as enabling faster, lower cost access to remote areas. Proprietary vehicle technologies are applied to existing trusted subframes and chassis from major motor manufacturer including Toyota, Nissan and Mercedes.
Arctic Trucks vehicles are available internationally through local distributorships in key markets, as well as via central purchasing from its headquarters in Iceland.
About the Kazakhstan National Geographic Society Expedition
KNGS is planning a new scientific expedition to the South Pole in December 2011, with a team of seven people in three vehicles, including one driver/mechanical expert from Arctic Trucks. The drive to the South Pole is planned to take 10 days with the team making regular stops for various scientific measurements. On the South Pole they will celebrate Kazakhstan's 20 years of independence on the 16th of December. This occasion also marks the 100 year anniversary of Amundsen's and Scott's arrival there and the team will drive a new AT Expedition vehicle built around the Toyota Land Cruiser, which celebrates its 60th anniversary.
For more information on this expedition, please visit: http://www.arctictrucks-expeditions.com.
For more information on KNGS, please visit: http://www.kazgeo.kz