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Nissan and Hyundai EVs cross polar paths

Nissan’s EV sets off on pole-to-pole trek as Hyundai EV fangs it in the frost

5 Apr 2023

NISSAN and Hyundai may cross paths at the North Pole … for totally different reasons.


While a couple in a Nissan Ariya small electric SUV embark on an intercontinental marathon starting at the North Pole, Hyundai is also embarking on a polar interlude, cold climate testing its forthcoming Ioniq 5 N performance EV in the same locale.


EV adventurers Chris and Julie Ramsey have started their pole-to-pole expedition in the Ariya surrounded by the vast ice-covered Arctic Ocean following a comprehensive safety assessment.


They set out from the 1823 North Magnetic Pole on a journey that will see them drive south, covering more than 27,000 km through North, Central and South America, aiming ultimately to reach the world's most remote place, Antarctica's South Pole, in December.


The Ramsey’s expedition in the Nissan is novel in that no vehicle has ever completed the journey between these extremes of the globe let alone in a 100 per cent electric vehicle.


The couple has embarked on the journey to showcase how capable and exciting electric vehicles are, with the hope to accelerate their adoption as a positive action against climate change.


Their expedition-ready Nissan Ariya has undergone some minor modifications to help it cope with the extreme terrains that they will face along the route.


Most notably the suspension has been lifted and wheel arches extended to accommodate huge 39-inch tires that will help the car 'float' on deep snow and sea ice.


No modifications were made to the Ariya's battery and powertrain, which remain standard, or the e-4orce system, Nissan's electric all-wheel-control technology.


As the couple travel through the remote polar regions, they will tow an innovative renewable energy unit which includes an extendable wind turbine and foldable solar panels. The prototype will take advantage of the expected high winds and long daylight hours, harnessing the natural energy to charge the Ariya's battery.


Down the road, Hyundai Motor Company has revealed details about the extreme winter testing of its Ioniq 5 N, the first high-performance, mass-production all-electric N brand model, at the Hyundai Mobis Proving ground in Arjeplog, Sweden.


Hyundai technicians will be assessing the new Ioniq 5 N performance model at their Arjeplog facility adjacent to the Artic Circle.


Hyundai says the facility offers everything a car-maker needs for comprehensive winter testing, such as low-grip coefficient icy surfaces and deep sub-zero temperatures as low as -30°C (-22°F).


The facility allows Hyundai N engineers to test new models, such as the Ioniq 5 N, in the most extreme low friction conditions to achieve the optimal balance between the car’s responsive ‘fun-to-drive’ character and its ability to perform safely and predictably in sub-zero conditions.


Meanwhile, Chris Ramsey said before setting off in the Nissan Ariya, “After four years of planning and hard work, we're so excited to officially get Pole to Pole underway”.


“Julie and I have done several EV adventures over the past 10 years, but pole-to-pole is definitely our biggest and most exciting challenge. We've had to think differently, be innovative and collaborate with like-minded partners to make this expedition a reality.


“Our expedition Ariya is fun to drive and performed well over the 5000 km journey to get to this starting point. 


“It gives us the confidence we can tackle every driving scenario we'll face in the coming months.”


Back at Arjeplog, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N prototype cold test precedes full series production models due to start rolling off the assembly line in July this year.


It is the N brand’s first high-performance mass-production EV Hyundai wants to use as a springboard to accelerate their electrification future.


Built on Hyundai’s Electrified-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) the Ioniq 5 N boasts motorsport-bred technologies and expertise to raise the bar for electrified high performance and set the stage for what could become the true driving enthusiast’s choice for a year-round performance EV.


The vice president of N Brand Management & Motorsport sub-division at Hyundai Motor Company, Till Wartenberg said, “Just as our N models are honed at the sharp corners of the Nürburgring, our N models are also honed at the sharp corners and icy surfaces of our proving ground in Arjeplog, ensuring maximum performance in the most extreme winter conditions”.


“We’re proud to demonstrate the Ioniq 5 N perfectly meets our broad performance criteria, ensuring N Brand success as our first EV production N model.”

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