Getting to plug your line of cars at the next Olympics is quite a feat. BMW pulled it off in 2012, and now the people’s cars have done it again for Sochi. Over 3,000 Volkswagen Group automobiles, from VWs to Audis to Skodas, will be made available to athletes and officials for both the 2014 Olympics and Paralympics in Russia — though there’s one vehicle that probably won’t be in the regular rotation: the positively abominable Polar Expedition Amarok. As much as we envy the Europeans for their access to the excellent stock Amarok pickup truck, it’s this hyper-fied cold-weather version that’s causing drool to freeze on our faces.
The truck was specially built to promote the 2014 Winter Olympics by completing the trans-Russia Amarok Polar Expedition, a trip that can’t be made by any ordinary vehicle. We’re talking about 16,000 miles from Moscow to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on the far southeastern Kamchatka peninsula across snowy Russian terrain, often in the complete absence of roads. The Guinness Book of World Records documented it as the longest route within a single country; completing the trip required something substantially more robust than a regular 4×4. Three of these Amaroks made the ridiculous journey over a 60-day period (there isn’t a bag of beef jerky or Corn Nuts big enough). Though we didn’t get to drive it (few will get that honor), we get the awesome thinking behind it and break down this wintry beast for you.