Skip to main content

Nissan’s taking a lightly modified Ariya from the North Pole to the South Pole

A husband and wife team are going to drive the Nissan Ariya EV 17,000 miles

If your idea of a road trip is like ours and involves packing up the family vehicle to drive a few hours to the beach, we’re not in the same ballpark as Nissan. The Japanese automaker’s idea of a road trip involves taking a modified all-electric Ariya from the North Pole to the South Pole. That trip, if you’re wondering, spans 17,000 miles. Crazy? You bet, but also in a great way.

To complete the trip, Nissan is partnering with Artic Trucks and the husband-and-wife team of Chris and Julie Ramsey. Artic Trucks, as one would guess from the name, specializes in creating vehicles that are meant to get through inhospitable terrain and are masters of their craft at polar expedition vehicles. Together, Nissan and Artic Trucks have come together to create the Ariya you see here – a roided gym rat compared to the regular electric SUV.

Nissan claims that modifications that were done to the Ariya “have been intentionally minimal,” but we have to assume that it’s winking when it says that. I mean, look at the thing. It’s riding on 39-inch tires, fender flares that are wider than ones found on 700-horsepower trucks that never see dirt, and has a militaryesque roof rack that’s meant to be a hub for launching drones. Plus, the SUV was fitted with long-travel suspension. This thing clearly looks like it’s ready for some serious off-roading, so we wouldn’t call the modifications minimal.

One thing that Nissan didn’t touch is the Ariya’s powertrain, though the automaker didn’t specify what powertrain the modified Ariya has. We assume it’s the all-wheel drive e-4ORCE with two electric motors and the 87-kWh battery pack. In that configuration, the Nissan electric SUV makes 389 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque and has a range of roughly 270 miles.

If you’re wondering how the Nissan Ariya will get electricity on the 17,000-mile trip, you’re asking the right question. The electric SUV will be towing a “portable, renewable energy unit” that will be used to charge the Ariya. Nissan states that the towable prototype features a lightweight wind turbine and solar panels to provide the SUV with juice while the explorers catch their breaths.

Chris and Julie Ramsey set to take a Nissan Ariya on an epic adventure | Pole to Pole

We’re all for adventures, but this sounds like a really ambitious one. It’s more akin to what Lewis and Clark were doing in the 1800s than modern-day adventuring. Going from one end of the earth to the other is difficult; doing it in an electric SUV without spare parts or a recovery vehicle sounds nuts. But this isn’t the first time the Ramseys have done something like this. They were the first people to complete the 10,500-mile Mongol Rally in a modified all-electric Leaf hatchback.

The journey will begin later this month and is expected to span 10 months. If you’re interested in following the team on their adventure, you can follow the husband and wife team on Instagram.

Editors' Recommendations

Joel Patel
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Joel Patel is a former contributor for The Manual. His work has also been featured on Autoweek, Digital Trends, Autoblog…
The new Mercedes-AMG GLC Coupe: A couple of firsts from Mercedes-AMG
New Mercedes-AMG Coupe Gets F1 Turbo
Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S E PERFORMANCE Coupé (Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert 7,5 l/100 km, CO2-Emissionen kombiniert 170 g/km, Stromverbrauch kombiniert 12,7 kWh/100 km) Exterieur: MANUFAKTUR hightechsilber magno; Interieur: Leder Nappa AMG schwarz mit grauer Ziernaht // Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S E PERFORMANCE Coupé (combined fuel consumption, weighted: 7.5 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions, weighted: 170 g/km; combined power consumption, weighted: 12.7 kWh/100 km) exterior: MANUFAKTUR hightechsilver magno; interior: leather nappa AMG black with grey stitching

Mercedes-AMG has announced two new models of the GLC Coupe, which are set to hit the road next year. While there are some differences in power between the two, enthusiasts can expect a wide range of cutting-edge standard features including rear-axle steering. All-wheel drive, a wet start-off clutch, and suspension with adaptive damping also feature on the vehicle.

The two new models are the GLC 43 Coupe and the GLC 63 S E PERFORMANCE. Both Mercedes GLC coupes are powered by a “hand-built” M139l AMG 2.0-liter engine, though the output differs between the pair. The GLC 43 Coupe is capable of producing 413 horsepower, though this can be temporarily boosted to 429. The GLC 63 S E PERFORMANCE Coupe is the more powerful of the pair by a wide margin, producing an impressive 671 horsepower.

Read more
A huge week for electric cars: MINI Countryman electric makes its North America debut
Big things come in MINI packages
Mini Cooper Countryman Electric

When discussing the MINI car brand, it is often difficult to resist the urge to immediately gravitate to such paradoxical descriptions to describe just how big MINI is to grab your attention. And while we are confident you will come across plenty of that wordplay around the internet this week, we will try to avoid the more obvious puns surrounding BMW's fun subsidiary.

That said, and out of the way, the newest MINI is a significant event when it comes to electric cars. As more and more of the world's auto manufacturers turn to electric for their primary power source, when a company like MINI jumps into the fray, it is almost impossible not to get a little excited about it.

Read more
UAW Strike cripples the Big Three – GM, Ford, and Stellantis productions grinds to halt
UAW members striking

Over 10,000 automotive workers have walked off the job as the United Auto Workers union begins strike action in Detroit. The UAW strike directly concern three of the world's biggest vehicle manufacturers, Ford, GM, and Stellantis - known as "the big three." Unions have christened the action "The Stand Up Strike," calling it "our generation’s answer to the movement that built our union, the Sit-Down Strikes of 1937."

So far, all three companies have offered a 20% pay rise to staff in an attempt to end the strike, but the UAW union has opted to decline that offer. The union organizing the strike has outlined a number of demands, with the main focus centering on a 40% pay increase stretched over four years for all of its 140,000 members. While that pay increase may seem drastic, union bosses claim it is comparable to raises executives have been awarded in recent years. Going forward, the union is demanding pay raises are also tied to inflation, which could see an equally significant increase in workers' pay rates going  forwards if recent inflation trends continue. Other demands include limits on how long staff can be categorized as temporary workers and denied union benefits, and the establishment of a four-day working week.

Read more