Nissan’s new electric vehicle is about to experience an epic adventure. The automaker today unveiled the modified Ariya that will make the 17,000-mile journey from the North Pole to the South Pole beginning later this year. It’s been beefed up for travel, but the company has kept mods to a minimum while showcasing its battery-electric powertrain.
The biggest upgrades are the most noticeable – the suspension and the tires. Nissan gave the electric crossover a beefier suspension and big 39-inch BF Goodrich tires, widening the fenders to accommodate modified equipment. In addition, the automaker has installed a roof-mounted utility unit that houses a deployable drone. Inside, the automaker has integrated an espresso machine to make mornings in the wilderness a little more manageable.
The automaker made no changes to the battery or electric motors. The Ariya making the trip features a twin-motor configuration with Nissan’s e-4ORCE all-wheel-control system. The electric vehicle produces 389 horsepower (290 kilowatts) and 443 pound-feet (600 Newton-meters) of torque. The automaker worked with Arctic Trucks, specialists in polar expedition vehicles, to design the Ariya for the harsh conditions of the trip.
The Ariya will tackle some of the world’s most extreme environments, navigating everything from deep snow and ice fields to scorching desert dunes and steep mountain passes. The EV will find itself far from an outlet or charging station in the polar regions of the world, so the Ariya will tow a portable renewable energy unit. The prototype includes a compact, lightweight wind turbine and solar panels to help recharge the electric vehicle’s 90 kilowatt-hour battery.
Nissan unveiled the Ariya in 2020 but didn’t go on sale in the US until last fall. The US got the front-wheel-drive variant first, as the all-wheel-drive version won’t arrive until this spring, which begins March 20. Husband and wife Chris and Julie Ramsey spent four years preparing for this. trip, which is due to begin in March. This will be the perfect time as the Ariya with e-4ORCE should arrive in US dealerships shortly after the adventure begins.