A modified Nissan Ariya electric crossover will travel from the magnetic North Pole to the South Pole to demonstrate the capabilities of electric vehicles.
The 16,777-mile, 10-month journey is expected to begin 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 not modified.
The Ariya will be driven from pole to pole by husband and wife team Chris and Julie Ramsey, who previously completed the 10,563-mile Mongol Rally in a Nissan Leaf. Aside from the larger tires, they wanted to keep the modifications to the Ariya to a minimum to demonstrate the capabilities of the base vehicle.
“One of the things that underpins all of our adventures is that we take a production EV and aim to make minimal changes to clearly demonstrate its real, everyday capabilities, regardless of where you drive it,” said Chris Ramsey in a statement.
Nissan Ariya pole-to-pole expedition vehicle
A modification that had nothing to do with performance was a built-in espresso machine for coffee lover Chris. The Ariya’s roof box also includes a drone launch pad, and the crossover will tow a trailer with portable solar panels and wind turbines that will provide power to charge the Ariya when stopped.
The Ariya used for the expedition features the e-4ORCE all-wheel drive system, which includes two motors and torque vectoring. In the US, peak power is 389 hp, compared to 214 hp for single-engine, front-wheel drive Ariyas. Nissan began selling the front-wheel drive Ariya in the US last fall, but all-wheel drive models won’t arrive until later this year.