A modified Nissan Ariya electric crossover will journey from the magnetic North Pole to the South Pole in an attempt to prove the capabilities of EVs.
The 16,777-mile, 10-month trip is expected to kick off in March, Nissan announced on Wednesday. Modifications to the Ariya include 39-inch BF Goodrich tires, widened wheel arches (to clear the new tires), and suspension changes, but the powertrain and battery pack were left unmodified.
The Ariya will be driven from Pole to Pole by the husband-and-wife team of Chris and Julie Ramsey, who previously completed the 10,563-mile Mongol Rally in a Nissan Leaf. Aside from the bigger tires, they aimed to keep modifications to the Ariya to a minimum to show off the capability of the basic vehicle.
"One of the things that underpins all the adventures we do is that we take a standard production EV and aim to make minimal changes to clearly demonstrate its real, everyday capabilities, regardless of where you are driving it," Chris Ramsey said in a statement.
Nissan Ariya Pole to Pole expedition vehicle
A modification not related to capability was a built-in espresso machine for coffee-lover Chris. The Ariya's roof box also includes a drone launchpad, and the crossover will tow a trailer with portable solar panels and wind turbines, which will provide energy to charge the Ariya when stopped.
The Ariya used for the expedition has the e-4ORCE all-wheel-drive system, which incorporates dual motors and torque vectoring. In the U.S., the peak output is 389 hp, compared to 214 hp for single-motor front-wheel-drive Ariyas. Nissan started U.S. sales of the front-wheel-drive Ariya last fall, but all-wheel-drive models won't arrive until later this year.