There’s a race that you may or may not know of. It’s a 320 nautical mile ski race to the Magnetic North Pole. It’s called the Polar Challenge, and it’s a grueling test of cold weather stamina and human achievement.
But today’s post isn’t about the Polar Challenge. It’s about an Arctic Truck, or specifically the Toyota Hilux (the U.S. Toyota Tacoma’s European equivalent). In 2007, the car challenge mavens at BBC’s Top Gear teamed up with conversion experts Arctic Trucks to develop a vehicle that could take on the Polar Challenge, by car – pitting itself against a proven method: dog sled. It’s a video worth watching (we’ve got it after the jump). Even though it’s unlikely you’ll get yourself to the Magnetic North Pole anytime soon, that doesn’t mean you can’t get in on the fun yourself.
Iceland based Arctic Trucks specializes in truck conversions (Toyota, Hyundai, Nissan) of the purposeful meets extreme variety. Taking a normal pickup, they install 40 mm suspension lifts to accommodate the 35″ tires mounted on 17″ wheels. To avoid any “skateboarding effect” (tires wider than the fenders), Arctic Trucks also installs unmistakably wide color-keyed fender flares. The conversion also includes running boards, mud flaps, a re-calibrated speedometer, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, and a wheel alignment. The entire package provides its owner with a highly capable terrain crossing transport. Better ground clearance, better traction, higher seating, and utility.
The Toyota in this article’s photos are the Hilux developed for the Top Gear challenge. Obviously Arctic conditions mean additional modifications and there’s certainly no shortage of modification goodness here. 50 mm suspension lift, 38 inch snow studded tires, 180 liter diesel fuel tank, coolant & fuel temperature heaters, cold-ready front & rear differential locks, front & rear bull bars, KC xenon spotlights, African outback carrying case, Garmin GPS, Iridium satellite phone, VHF radios, on-board cameras (this was for a TV show after all), auxiliary electric system, and a plethora of survival gear including: chain saw, shovels, crowbars, high lift jack, tents, specialized sleeping bags, and shotguns for potential polar bear attacks.
Editor’s Note: Drool.