Toyota Hilux completes a 5,900-mile marathon to Antarctica using jet fuel

Article by Christian A., on April 2, 2012

Toyota's Hilux seems to be synonymous with extreme endurance. It has recently completed a 5,900-mile marathon to Antarctica. No vehicle of its type has ever achieved this much before. Toyota proved just how tough it was by making the journey without even a single glitch. This trip is part of the longest expedition ever to be made in the polar regions.

Hilux has already racked up major points by making it to Magnetic North and South Poles. The vehicles used in the double trans-continental crossing set up by Extreme World Races utilized standard 3.0-litre D-4D engines and transmissions.

Icelandic conversion specialists Arctic Trucks engineered the vehicles to meet the demands of temperatures as low as -50°C and harsh terrain rising to above 3,400m. The expedition was accomplished by three Hilux (including two "6×6" models), running on Jet A-1 fuel to handle the extreme cold. All of them racked up nearly 6,000 miles over four months from November 2011 to February in 2011.

A total of 10 Hilux units were deployed by the expedition team, which believed that the Toyotas could cope with the demands of setting up a fuel depot and weather station and offering essential support to scientists and rivals in a ski race.

The changes that had to be done to the vehicles include fitting a crane to raise heavy equipment and a 280-litre fuel tank. The six-wheel models can carry 800 litres.

The suspension and drivetrain were reinforced, the transmission got crawler gears, and the extra large tires were filled to between 2.0 and 3.0psi (compared to 29.0psi for regular road-going Hilux). This meant that its "footprint" is 17 times bigger than standard tires.

2012 Toyota Hilux features extensive interior and exterior design revisions. Changes to its interior include improved sensory quality all throughout its cabin and passenger car convenience levels.

Reinforcing the roominess and breadth of the cabin is the new horizontal design for the center instrument cluster. This center cluster is divided into two sections: the upper and lower parts. The upper portion incorporates the Toyota Touch, which is a 6.1-inch touch-screen multimedia unit while the lower part houses new designs for the manual and the automatic air-conditioning controls.

Moreover, the driver's instrument cluster was redesigned in order to enhance meter clarity, while the SR and SR+ grades have been equipped with Optitron meters. In addition, a more modern design for the steering wheel has incorporated a grade-differentiated switchgear.

The perceived quality of the Hilux has been improved significantly by adopting similar darker finishes plus greater color consistency in its interior. This makes the vehicle look more sophisticated, especially with its display audio unit, gearshift knob, and steering wheel sporting new, silver ornamentation. You can choose from four different seat upholstery finishes that are more durable and that have stronger grade differentiation.

Additionally, the 2012 Hilux’s new exterior design gives the vehicle a distinctive and a more instantly recognizable presence, even while maintaining the brand’s legendary toughness.

What’s more, the front of the new Hilux is totally new, from its A pillar forwards. The vehicle combines a rugged and durable image, which is just appropriate for a “workhorse” sporting a more curved, 3-dimensional appearance and SUV-like appeal. This kind of appeal is just perfect for the European pick-up market’s growing leisure segment.

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