Let us tell you a beautiful story. Once upon a time, back in 2009, Prince Albert II of Monaco returned from an exhibition to the Antarctic and asked to see Gildo Pastor, the president of Venturi - a high-performance electric cars’ maker in Monaco. The Prince and the carmaker president talked about developing a zero-emissions solution that would serve the scientific research stations. After a productive handshake, Venturi got to work.
The first prototype was presented at the Paris Motor Show in 2010. Ten years later, Venturi shows off Antarctica 2021 – the first electric polar expedition vehicle. This isn’t the first time Venturi uses the word “first”. Venturi Formula E race team, Venturi VBB-3 electric vehicle to reach 341 mph, and Voxan Watman – the electric motorcycle. All these projects helped build up an experience that contributed to the creation of Antarctica 2021.
The electric vehicle may seem compact at the first sight – 7.2 feet high, 6.6 feet wide, and 11.4 feet long – but it reaches the weight of 5.500 pounds. Antarctica is special due to many reasons, and one of them is its electric drivetrain that has been developed to function at temperatures of up to -76 degrees. Yes, it was pretty challenging to make the electric systems and batteries function properly at these temperatures but preserving the optimal heat solved it.
The battery powering Antarctica has a capacity of 52.6 kWh and two 60 kW engines – one engine per track. Ventura Antarctica is underpinned on a tubular steel chassis, with the body made out of carbon fiber.
Another curious fact about this vehicle is that the body got glued together with an almost impossible adhesive that can handle incredibly low temperatures, and then attached to the frame. There aren’t any weld points on the chassis-covering panels, which provides better account for expansion and shrinking rates caused by the cold temperatures.
Venturi has double-gazed windows, with one full centimeter between the layers. Many insulating materials have been used around the vehicle, like aerogel – a composite developed by NASA, fiberglass, or polyurethane.
The suspension is completely bespoke and comprises a multi-link configuration with two shock absorbers and springs that enable better contact and traction. The natural rubber tracks are signed by Camso – an entity owned by Michelin.
As for the interior, the cabin fits two pilots who control Venturia with the help of a central joystick. The benches can fold and fit up to four people or provide more loading space. Antarctica even has cruise control, cameras, and indicator lights.
The vehicle is in the testing phase now and we’re sure the drivers are really enjoying it!