The Toyota Hilux has once again been thrown into a seemingly impossible situation and again has survived. This time around, a team from Extreme World Races piloted three Hilux pickup trucks around Antarctica and each clocked more than 5900 miles on the odometer. It’s the longest expedition in polar history.
The trucks were powered by Toyota’s 3.0-liter D-4D diesel engine, a workhorse mill familiar to markets outside of the U.S. In order to handle the extremely cold climates, the Hilux trucks ran on jet fuel.
Iceland-based Arctic Trucks performed modifications to the Hilux trucks, two of which were “6×6” models. The company fitted the pickups with large tires that had a footprint 17 times larger than standard tires. The suspension and drivetrain were reinforced and each vehicle was fitted with a crane used to load heavy equipment and barrels of fuel. The expedition team used the Toyotas to set up a fuel depot and weather station used by scientists and competitors participating in a ski race.
This latest feat should further solidify the Hilux’s reputation and the bullet-proof truck of choice when traversing extreme environments. The Hilux has been used on numerous trips on both magnetic poles. Perhaps its most famous appearance was on an Arctic special episode of “Top Gear” in which the show’s presenters were the first to reach the magnetic North Pole in a motor vehicle.