The EV will face extreme terrains ranging from ice fields to desert dunes.
Nissan is sending its all-new Ariya EV crossover on an epic 16,777-mile North Pole to South Pole adventure, and it will encounter deep snow, ice, mountains, and desert dunes. We first learned about this hardcore drive last May when rendered images of the beefier Ariya were shown. Now, we're seeing the real deal.
The automaker teamed with Arctic Trucks, who, as the name rightly implies, specializes in building polar expedition vehicles. The duo's collaboration has resulted in this Ariya receiving a sizeable list of upgrades. These include an improved suspension, 39-inch BF Goodrich tires, and wider fenders to accommodate the modifications. A roof-mounted utility unit was installed for a drone to launch to capture stunning views.
The expedition leader, Chris Ramsey, also happens to be a coffee enthusiast, so Nissan integrated an espresso machine inside to help keep him awake and focused. Ramsey's wife, Julie, will be serving as his co-driver.
"I'm incredibly excited to get behind the wheel of what was already a brilliant vehicle but now feels equipped to take on the ends of the earth in style," Chris Ramsey said.
The automaker made no changes to the Ariya's battery or electric motors. The dual-motor setup is paired with the e-4ORCE all-wheel-control technology - a must-have for this adventure. Total output comes to 389 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. Because this Ariya will face hurdles like ice fields, deep snow, steep mountain climbs, and rough desert dunes, charging stations are non-existent. But there is a solution.
Nissan built a prototype renewable energy unit that's packable and boasts a lightweight wind turbine and solar panels to recharge the 90 kWh battery pack. It's designed to take advantage of the high winds and long daylight hours to keep the EV charged when the Ramseys stop for much-needed rest.
For backup, a second but completely unmodified Ariya e-4ORCE will serve as a support vehicle but only through the Americas.
The Nissan Ariya was revealed in 2020, but only 201 units were sold in the US last year due to supply chain issues. Nissan expects Ariya sales to be low again for 2023 due to high battery material prices. Nissan subjected Ariya prototypes to extreme durability testing for three years as part of the buildup for this journey and, of course, to ensure it can more than handle future owners' driving needs.
Chris and Julie Ramsey have been prepping for this trip for four years, and it's set to get underway next month.
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