Nissan’s new electric vehicle is about to go on an epic adventure. The automaker today revealed the modified Ariya that will make the 17,000-mile trek from the North Pole to the South Pole that starts later this year. It’s been beefed up for the trip, but the company kept the mods to a minimum while showcasing its battery-electric powertrain.
The biggest upgrades are its most noticeable – the suspension and tires. Nissan gave the electric crossover a beefier suspension and chunky 39-inch BF Goodrich tires, widening the fenders to accommodate the modified gear. On top, the automaker installed a roof-mounted utility unit that houses a deployable drone. Inside, the automaker integrated an espresso machine to make the mornings out in the wilderness a bit more manageable.
Gallery: Modded Nissan Ariya For Pole-To-Pole Drive
The automaker did not make any changes to the battery or electric motors. The Ariya making the trip features the dual-motor setup with Nissan’s e-4ORCE all-wheel-control system. The EV makes 389 horsepower (290 kilowatts) and 443 pound-feet (600 Newton-meters) of torque. The automaker collaborated with Arctic Trucks, specialists in polar expedition vehicles, on designing the Ariya for the trip’s harsh conditions.
The Ariya will tackle some of the world’s most extreme environments, navigating everything from deep snow and ice fields to blisteringly hot desert dunes and steep mountain passes. The EV will find itself far from an outlet or charging station in the world’s polar regions, which is why the Ariya will tow a portable renewable energy unit. The prototype features a packable, lightweight wind turbine and solar panels to help recharge the EV’s 90-kilowatt-hour battery pack.
Nissan revealed the Ariya in 2020 but didn’t go on sale in the US until last fall. The US received the front-wheel-drive variant at first, as the all-wheel-drive version won’t arrive until sometime this spring, which starts on March 20. Husband and wife Chris and Julie Ramsey have spent four years preparing for this trip, which is scheduled to begin in March. It’ll be the perfect time as the Ariya with e-4ORCE should be arriving at US dealers shortly after the adventure starts.