The trucks were also outfitted with large tires running just 2-3 psi of air pressure, resulting in a contact patch around 17 times larger than a standard tire. 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. Hit the jump for the full press release.
• Longest expedition in polar exploration history, covering over 70,000 km in four months
• Three Hilux set new world record, each covering 9,500 km
• Prepared by Icelandic 4x4 conversion specialists Arctic Trucks to tackle the extreme terrain and weather conditions
• 3.0-litre D-4D diesel engine and gearbox remain unchanged, demonstrating the Hilux's legendary Quality, Durability and Reliability
• Land Cruiser celebrates 60th anniversary with first trek to the South Pole The legendary Toyota Hilux, already renowned for its ability to overcome extreme challenges, started a new chapter in the history of polar exploration, covering over 70,000 km across one of the coldest and most hostile environments in the world.
The highlight of the Antarctic programme was a double trans-continental crossing, organised by Extreme World Races. A new world record was set by three Hilux vehicles, including two 6x6 versions, each covering 9,500 km. Totalling nearly 30,000 km this makes it the longest Antarctic journey ever.
From November 2011 to February 2012, a team using ten Toyota Hilux vehicles was charged with setting up a fuel depot, installing a weather station, and providing support to scientific expeditions and a ski race.
To face Antarctica's uniquely extreme driving conditions, with temperatures as low as -50°C, terrain altitudes of over 3,400 m and the most brutal driving environment imaginable, all vehicles were prepared by Icelandic 4x4 conversion specialists Arctic Trucks. Necessary modifications included the integration of a crane to lift heavy equipment, the use of Jet A-1 fuel to cope with the extreme cold, a 280-litre fuel tank (800-litres for 6x6 vehicles), revised suspension and drivetrain, crawler gears and extra large tyres with pressures as low as 2-3 psi (regular Hilux tyres have a pressure of 29 psi) giving a tyre surface area about 17 times larger than those found on standard tyres.
It is a testament to the Hilux's legendary Quality Durability and Reliability (QDR) that its 3.0-litre D-4D diesel engine and the transmission remain entirely unchanged for the expeditions.
The Hilux performed outstandingly well throughout its 70,000 km challenge without technical failures.
Sold in over 135 countries and a global leader in the pick-up segment, the Hilux once again pushes the boundaries of extreme endurance driving.
A video of the Hilux's most recent polar exploration will soon be available on Toyota Europe's YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/ToyotaEurope