Hilux exploring the final frontiers powered by jet fuel
100 years ago, Amundsen and Scott set off on their epic race across the Antarctic – at the time, one of the least explored and least understood places on the planet, and still is one of the most hostile – on their way to claim the South Pole. In the past few months, a team of Toyota Hilux, Land Cruiser and Tacoma vehicles prepared by Arctic Trucks (the guys behind the Hilux used by Top Gear to reach the North Pole) followed the footsteps of the pioneers and broke a few records along the way. (More after the break)
The Amundsen-Scott story is a well-told one, and one of the activities supported by two Hilux 4×4’s, a Hilux 6×6 and a Tacoma was to a ski race commemorating the centenary of the accomplishment. The 800 km race from Novolazarevskaya Station to the South Pole, retracing the footsteps of the early explorers a hundred years ago, organised by Extreme World Races put the Toyota vehicles through its paces. In all, the vehicles covered a mammoth 16,800 km in freezing conditions while supporting the event.
The same organisers also put together a double crossing of the Antarctic for an expedition, taking guests to the South Pole, as well as some TV programmes, calling in the services of two Hilux 6×6’s and one Hilux 4×4. This is now the longest Antarctic expedition to date, and the vehicles have earned themselves a place in the history books covering some 9,500 km each.
Along the way, the teams set up fuel depots for researchers based on the frozen continent. The fuel is predominantly used to support scientists and their activities drilling at Lake Vostok, parts of which have remained untouched for up to 25 million years. Just imagine the scientific discoveries it could be holding.
Even though the Hilux vehicles had to contend with temperatures as low as -50°C and terrains reaching 3,400 m, the 3.0-litre D-4D engine and transmission were completely unchanged for the arduous journey. The extreme temperatures also meant the vehicles had to use a special type of fuel for the journey. Yup, they were powered by Jet A-1 fuel, that’s jet fuel, because it has a very low freezing point.
And you know what? None of the vehicles suffered any kind of technical failures during their epic trek across Antarctica. The Hilux legend continues!
Read the press release here.
Check back soon. We’ll bring you a video of the epic journey early next week.