Thursday, December 18, 2008

It may look like it was made from a Lego Meccano kit, but this ‘Concept Ice Vehicle’ from Lotus is built to withstand temperatures as low as -72C, travel up to 84mph and still be kind to the environment.

The innovative ice buggy, which will be used in a bid to trek 3,000 miles across Antarctica, runs on biofuel. The adapted supercharged BMW 1150 motorcycle engine gives off around 70 per cent less greenhouse emissions compared with ordinary petrol.

‘Antarctica remains one of the world’s great mysteries’ said Kieron Bradley, an ex-Formula 1 designer who built the buggy out of microlight parts.

‘The process has been one big learning curve.’

The CIV will track a path to the South Pole for two explorers who want to highlight the importance of the ice caps to planet Earth. It has a radar that lets it detect dangerous crevasses under the ice and weighs just 350kg allowing the crew to pull it by hand over bumpy areas.

The vehicle was built to operate in temperatures down to -72 degrees centigrade

Andrew Moon and Andrew Regan will follow with their crew and equipment in low emission six-wheel drives.

‘If you can run biofuels successfully in the most harsh and extreme environment in the world, then there is no reason why you can’t use them to get to the supermarket,’ Mr Regan said.

The adventurous pair have both journeyed to the North and South Poles before but this is the first time they will attempt a coast to coast crossing in the name of education.

Mr Regan explained: ‘I’ve got six kids and I really hope that this expedition will spark some genuine interest in schools...



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