Polar TRV Concept Set a Guinness World Record for Fastest South Pole Journey

Polar Expedition Concept 8 photos
Photo: CURVE Vehicle Design Ltd
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Ever wonder why we keep showing you renderings? Well, some actually make it into the real world and even set Guinness World Records in the process.
Folks, the concept you have before you is known as Polar, Polar Expedition Concept, or Polar TRV, depending on who you ask. However, with all these names, this conceptual vehicle made it into a real machine that broke the Guinness World Record for "Fastest overland journey to the South Pole." But, before all that, some serious work went into this machine. So let's see what is going on with this beefed-up 2010 Toyota Tacoma.

Polar was a vehicle destined for greatness before it even hit the drawing board. The idea behind it was to create a machine able to reach the South Pole in record-breaking time.

It was created as the machine of choice meant to complete a trip carried out in commemoration of an event that happened 100 years earlier, the first successful attempt to reach the South Pole. That first expedition was led by Roald Amundsen and took nearly two months. There's no need to mention that they made the whole trip on foot or by dogsled back then. I'll let you look into how the crew stayed alive during that treacherous journey. Maybe now you can understand how far we've come in over 110 years.

Polar Expedition Concept
Photo: CURVE Vehicle Design Ltd
With this trip and machine in mind, the Thomson Reuters Eikon team, the eventual drivers of Polar, headed over to Iceland's own Arctic Trucks, a manufacturer of vehicles meant to overcome snow-drenched terrains as though they were asphalt.

Ever heard of Arctic Trucks? This crew was established towards the end of the 1980s, reconditioning and repurposing vehicles for extreme conditions. Their works are known for reaching both poles. Who else to call upon for this job? Once the monstrosity you see was created, it was time to give it its final looks.

Now, the visual work of this machine is from an artist whose works we've featured before on autoevolution, Ian Nisbett. If the name sounds familiar, it's because Ian is the mind behind Curve Vehicle Design, a crew known for building concepts that eventually become a reality. Well, the same holds true for this concept; it turned into a real toy.

With it, a 692-mile (1,113-kilometer) journey to the South Pole was completed in no more than 39 hours and 54 minutes. Since the previous record was of 2 days, 21 hours, and 21 minutes, I don't think seconds count at this point.

Polar Expedition Concept Motor
Photo: CURVE Vehicle Design Ltd
This was achieved with a machine that ran a 4.0-liter TRD supercharged engine with 380 hp and extensive modifications. 330-gallon (1,500-liters) fuel tank, racing seats, dual VIAIR air compressors, engine heater, and an insulated cab with a roll cage are just a couple of the modifications in place. It is the Arctic, after all.

The body has seen extensive tampering, too, even requiring a complete rebuild of a chassis and body just to fit around those massive tires. Koni shocks, HT coils, and ARB lockers are part of the suspension. According to a report from New Atlas, this snow-crushing monster cost over 400,000 USD (353,120 EUR at current exchange rates) to build.

Now, it may appear like one of those "chicken or the egg" situations, but Polar is still a vehicle whose looks started off as nothing more than an idea and a rendering. And that's enough for me to appreciate any conceptual vehicle art I run across these days. After all, you never know who may be creating the next record-breaking design.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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