No, a Ford Expedition did not drive from Russia to Canada via the North Pole, but that's exactly what a team of intrepid explorers accomplished recently. Using specially-modified buses with massive tires, the group slowly drove 2,485 miles in 70 days over drifting ice, occasionally using a pickaxe to clear a path and staying on guard for chasms that could open up and plunge the team into the frigid arctic waters. Average speeds were about 6 mph, "at the speed of a (farm) tractor." While the big tires technically allowed the buses to float if the need arose, the team preferred to stay out of the water to keep the suspension from getting coated in thick, hard ice. Falling in on foot would mean almost certain death.

According to Phys.org, the buses were powered by Toyota diesel engines, but were built with prototype parts from a previous driving expedition to the North Pole. Right now, the machines are parked in a garage in Canada's Resolute Bay while the the team rests up with family back home. They plan to continue their trek to back across the Bering Straight to Russia. If successful, the team may eventually offer a version of their buses for commercial sale.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      traction_control
      • 1 Year Ago
      That's ironic. A Ford Expedition (three of them) were used for the Russian Москва-Чукотка overland expedition in 2006. {On April 12, 2006, three second generation Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer full-size sport utility vehicles successfully completed an unsupported 32 day off road overland expedition. The heavy-duty 4x4s journeyed nearly 30,000 kilometres across North Asia, the arctic tundra and at times, uncharted territory. The expedition team was made up of six members (two in each vehicle) which included the expedition leaders: Alexey Mikhailov and Alexander Borodin; technical director: Andrey Rodionov and professional off road drivers: Sergey Goryachev, Victor Parshikov and Alexey Simakin. The expeditionary trip was exactly 28,000 kilometres or about 17,398 miles round trip (there and back collectively). The planned route resulted in the SUVs primarily traveling on permafrost and herded the Ford Expeditions across the Arctic Circle twice. The expeditionary team visited landmarks such as the spot where American aviator Carl Ben Eielson was lost, and the birthplace of Russian explorer Semyon Dezhnev. The northernmost point on the route was latitude 69°42′ North (Pevek). The easternmost point visited was longitude 169°40’ West (Cape Dezhnev).}
        BG
        • 1 Year Ago
        @traction_control
        Alexander Borodin was there? Cool. Did he write dances or an opera to accompany the expedition?
        turbo_awd
        • 1 Year Ago
        @traction_control
        Even if driving 24x7, that would make it 875 km/day, or an average speed of 36+ km/h. Assuming they stopped a few times (like the snowstorm that wikipedia mentions), they were averaging over 40+ km/h over permafrost.. I'd think that kind of speed is almost "reckless" in those conditions..
      Justin Shaw
      • 1 Year Ago
      Pretty cool how the tires can keep them afloat
      Rob K
      • 1 Year Ago
      I just got new tires for my Jeep. I think I will try this by myself. What possibly could go wrong?
        BG
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rob K
        Uhh, possibly a polar bear could eat your weenie?
      csrecord
      • 1 Year Ago
      It can't be that hard. Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house.
        AngeloD
        • 1 Year Ago
        @csrecord
        Is Alaska one of the 57 States Obama claimed to have visited during the '08 campaign? LOL.
          nassau
          • 1 Year Ago
          @AngeloD
          csrecord knows Alaska is one of the 57 states.
      gearhead
      • 1 Year Ago
      Top Gear did it better...
      icemilkcoffee
      • 1 Year Ago
      People love to pan Toyota for being boring, but when you life depends on it- you choose Toyota. That is true for the Hi-Lux mounted Talibans, and true for the artic explorers.
      fred schumacher
      • 1 Year Ago
      Cold is not a problem, but a friend. Kamaz and Uralaz trucks regularly operate in Siberia in conditions much colder than on the Arctic ice. The big problems in crossing the ice are pressure ridges and open leads.
      h-man
      • 1 Year Ago
      Where are the pictures? This isn't print media. Don't post a story unless you have some decent photos.
        Pat
        • 1 Year Ago
        @h-man
        Eh bud, they are looking for a new writer, you should give your name. You could make a real difference!
      Randy
      • 1 Year Ago
      So it wasn't Ford Expeditions but Ford Exolorers that drove over the North Pole! WTG Ford... JK
      gop.hates.america
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's good that they are doing this now. In ten years, the only way to do this journey will be using a boat
      Anonymous
      • 1 Year Ago
      Without asking for money on Kickstarter?
      vassyg16
      • 1 Year Ago
      Gin & Tonic, anyone?
    • Load More Comments