Friday, May 24, 2013

Toyota engines: tough enough for the North Pole

Toyota has long been associated with being reliable, safe, and efficient to the point where just about every Toyota dealer stands by their vehicles and offers a Lifetime Powertrain Warranty on each one sold. These vehicles have also been capable of incredible feats, such as towing a space shuttle. So would it surprise you to learn that a team of Russian scientists decided to journey from their home country, across the North Pole, and into Canada, using specially designed automobiles that were powered by Toyota engines?

Toyota Engine,North Pole,Driving Across Ocean,Russian scientists,MLAE

North Pole expedition,Maps,Resolute Bay

The team, known as MLAE (Marine Live-Ice Automobile Expedition) managed to travel a whopping 2,485 miles over a span of 70 days, navigating across a sea of ice floes and temperatures that averaged -29 degrees Fahrenheit! According to, the brightly colored vehicles used were built from multiple parts and components, and were powered by 2.0L Toyota diesel engines. They were specially designed to handle the extreme climate conditions, with over-inflated tires that could drive across the ice or float when needed at roughly six miles per hour. Three metric tons of diesel fuel were brought by the scientists to complete their  entire trip. To put things in perspective, the length of the MLAE would be the equivalent of coasting across the United States from Jacksonville, Florida to Los Angeles, California. If you were to make the same drive in a Prius (averaging 50 MPG), you'd be able to finish the trip much faster and efficiently- on a little over four tanks of gas, in two to three days! 

North Pole,Expedition,Arctic Sea

Besides the opportunity to encounter polar bears, walruses, and see the Aurora Borealis (all three of which they did), the scientists mainly wanted to test the ability of their vehicles to make such a lengthy trip. After finding success and reaching Resolute Bay, they were welcomed with applause, and then left their vehicles in garages, which will be picked up next year in February and driven back to Russia. Before setting out again, they plan to discuss the possibility of producing commercial vehicles of the prototypes that were used to cross the North Pole.

Would you make a journey like that if given the chance? Or have you ever been in a situation where your Toyota pulled through despite nasty weather or conditions? Share your thoughts below! 

1 comment:

  1. The current model of the Toyota camry is not likely to do well, in terms of sales, as far as the Nigerian market is concerned. I say this as a keen observer of car designs and their influence on sales as far as the Nigerian market is concerned. First of all, the Nigerian market appreciates size and style against compactness. The pevious model has size and style with a clear statement of accomplishment. The current model attempts to be efficient by a reduction in size. Smaller cars in the sedan class don't speak of class to the Nigerian buyer. Again, the curent Toyota camry model gravitates towards a ''squarish/angular'' design as clearly seen in the backlights/car ''boot''. This is another mistake. Designs rounded at the edges to give the smooth look have better appeal than their more squarish counterparts. In the end, Toyota sales teams and marketers would have to be more aggressive to push this product. The Avensis design made these mistakes and is no longer a model to be reckoned with today. I daresay the Camry desgn team may just have done the same. By the way, is the Corrolla a cheaper car?