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.