Nissan has revealed the modified Ariya crossover it hopes will complete an epic Pole-to-Pole expedition in the hands of two British adventurers.
The 17,000-mile (27,000 km) journey has been four years in the planning and will take husband and wife team Chris and Julie Ramsey from the magnetic North Pole to the South Pole. Nissan wants to prove that EVs, and the Ariya in particular, are tougher and more capable than some people give them credit for.
Driving from Pole-to-Pole means being capable of tackling snowy wastelands, but that’s only part of the challenge facing the Ariya. Traveling between the icy top and bottom of the planet the Nissan EV will also have to deal with mountains and desert dunes. But Nissan has kept modifications to a minimum to maintain some semblance of a link to the production car you can buy in a Nissan dealership.
The adventuring Ariya is equipped with a set of huge 39-in tires that massively increase its ground clearance, but fitting them required significant chunks of bodywork to be hacked away and a set of wide fender flares to be added. The team has also made changes to the suspension, but the battery, electric powertrain and 4ORCE all-wheel drive system are untouched.
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Obviously the couple won’t be able to plug the Ariya in at a local Starbucks when they’re in the middle of nowhere, so the EV is equipped with a towable, renewable energy unit featuring a wind turbine and solar panels to help charge the battery when the car is parked up. A drone can be launched directly from the roof to help the Ramseys capture pictures and video of their progress and the Nissan also features a specially integrated espresso machine to keep coffee-lover Chris supplied with a regular doses of sustainably-sourced caffeine juice.
“The planning and preparation for Pole-to-Pole has been such a big part of our lives over the past four years so I am really looking forward to getting the expedition underway in March,” said co-driver Julie Ramsey. “We’re going to discover so many interesting initiatives from communities and individuals who are taking positive action against climate change and I’m looking forward to sharing these experiences and stories with everyone.”