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FROM POLE TO PRODUCTION?
Friday, 19 August 2011 09:21

SeptNewsKey-sketch-1This month’s story on the Polar TRV expedition attempt to beat the World Record for the fastest unsupported motorised vehicle to the South Pole (page 20) got us thinking. Not only did our test drive of the vehicle prove impressive, and highly enjoyable but also it got us wondering about the future potential of the vehicle. The project is funded by global information company, Thomson Reuters, who wanted a ‘money-can’t-buy’ competition prize for its global, 55,000 workforce. Experienced polar expedition expert Jason De Carteret was commissioned and came up with the plan to build a vehicle to drive to the South Pole and in the process beat the current World Record, exactly 100 years after Norwegian Roald Admunsen was the first to visit the bottom of the world. We wish them well, but are tempted to wonder, ‘what next?’

British design studio IND (www.iannisbettdesign.com) was commissioned to work on the design of the Toyota Tacoma base vehicle, and some of Ian Nisbett’s excellent sketches are shown here. Ian was brought up in North Africa and started off-roading across the dunes in Isuzus when he was 10-years old. Ian has had a lot of automotive design experience and looking at the designs here, you can’t help feeling that there’s a production possibility for a limited run of awesome off-roaders. Despite all the doom and gloom us mere mortals appear to be suffering at the moment, sales of super yachts and supercars seem to be booming. There’s money out there, so who knows? And it would be a lot more practical than many a supercar, since you could actually get it serviced at your local Toyota dealership!