Nissan has unveiled the adventure-ready version of the new Ariya electric SUV that will undertake a 10-month, 27,000-kilometer (16,777-mile) trip from the magnetic North Pole to the South Pole starting in March.
Previously previewed only in renderings, the custom Ariya has been unveiled by the Pole to Pole expedition team and Nissan in the Arctic-like conditions of Iceland, with additional details about the vehicle being revealed in the process.
Since the Ariya will need to take on extreme terrains and environments, including ice fields, deep snow, steep mountain climbs and inhospitable desert dunes, Nissan called on Arctic Trucks, the specialists in polar expedition vehicles, to prepare the electric SUV for the tough conditions ahead.
Nissan says the modifications to the car have been "intentionally minimal," with no changes to the battery or powertrain. However, it's hard to ignore the raised suspension and wider wheel arches necessary to accommodate the 39-inch BF Goodrich tires.
Coupled with Nissan's e-4ORCE advanced electric all-wheel-control technology, these modifications will enable the Ariya expedition car to tackle extreme terrains.
Gallery: Nissan Ariya Adventure-Ready Vehicle For Pole to Pole EV Expedition
"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. Our Nissan Ariya is no different as the vehicle’s drivetrain and battery has remained factory standard, demonstrating just how capable and versatile the production Ariya is."
Chris Ramsey, Pole to Pole EV Expedition Leader
The Nissan Ariya will also feature some unusual amenities onboard, such as a specially integrated espresso machine with a good supply of sustainable coffee and a drone that can launch directly from the utility unit on the roof.
But the most important feature by far is the portable, renewable energy unit that will be used to charge the Ariya Pole to Pole expedition vehicle in the polar regions. The towable prototype includes a packable, lightweight wind turbine and solar panels that will harness the high winds and long daylight hours to provide charge for the EV's battery when Chris and Julie Ramsey stop to rest.
Nissan previously said a second modified Ariya will act as a support vehicle, so we can assume it will tow the generator, which hasn't been shown yet. "We are doing something that has never been attempted before, a world-first, and ultimately that is what makes it so exciting," said Julie Ramsey, co-driver on Pole to Pole.