The Toyota Hilux has successfully completed an extraordinary journey, travelling across the most hostile and coldest environment in the world, Antarctica, to reach the South Pole. The unstoppable Hilux has already conquered the North Pole and the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull.
In the period between Nov. 5, 2010 and Dec. 5, 2010, four Hilux vehicles transported expedition members of the Indian National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) - studying snow chemistry, the glacial landscapes and the bedrock hidden beneath the ice.
The 4,600 km round trip spanned from Novo Air Base, to the South Pole, and back. The four vehicles were customized by Icelandic Toyota 4x4 conversion specialists, Arctic Trucks, for the month-long expedition. Arctic Trucks has ranked the Hilux as its first choice among similar vehicles, due in part to its proven, 40-year record of Quality, Durability and Reliability (QDR) under even the most brutal driving conditions.
NCAOR, faced with altitudes of over 3,400 m, the most brutal driving environment imaginable, and with extreme weather that averages temperatures of below -40 degrees Centigrade and peaks of -56 degrees Centigrade, chose the Hilux for this remarkable expedition as it combines several exceptional attributes essential to survival on the world’s harshest continent. Given the extreme conditions, the Hilux first has proven very low comparable fuel consumption of 5.65mpg.
Even with using less energy-efficient Jet 1A fuel, the Hilux engine running 24/7 and running extra heating system constantly on, this figure is 5 to 8 times lower than what the tracked vehicles achieved.
This reduces both transported fuel loads and fuel costs (one oil barrel in Antarctica can cost $10,000). The expedition could rely on one refueling point, established some 1,500 km from the journey starting point: the Maitri Antarctica station. Secondly, the Hilux has a very high load-carrying capacity.
It combines a low unladen weight of 2.2 tons with a payload capacity of 1.5 tons and a towing capacity of 3 tons, which is a key attribute when carrying the expedition equipment, spare parts and participants, as well as 1,280 liters of fuel per vehicle. Thirdly, the NCAOR expedition recorded a faster average speed than any comparable expedition had reached before.