Andrew Regan and Andrew Moon set to drive Lotus to the South Pole

September 04, 2008 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Lotus is synonymous with high performance race-cars, which makes the release of their new Concept Ice Vehicle (CIV) all the more intriguing. This unique vehicle was specifically engineered for the Moon-Regan TransAntarctic Expedition.

Ex Formula 1 chassis designer Kieron Bradley and Polar explorer Jason de Carteret collaborated to make the CIV lightweight and efficient, as well as robust enough to cope with the extreme conditions of the Antarctic region.

The vehicle design has also successfully integrated environmentally friendly technology. This wasan essential component considering that one of the primary goals of the Moon-Regan expedition is to raise awareness about the global environmental importance of the Antarctic region.

After extensive testing in Sweden, the CIV was unveiled by Lotus at their 60th Anniversary at Silverstone earlier this month. While it may not be what is typically expected of Lotus, the CIV's lightweight and efficient design certainly has the same sleek characteristics and efficient ingenuity as it's road-going counterparts. It is certainlya fittingly technologically adventurous vehicle for an expedition of this nature.

Fitted with a GPS radar, the unmanned CIV will travel ahead of the two heavier expedition vehicles, ensuring that the ice surface is stable by scanning for sub-terrainian crevasses. With the cockpit resting atop three independently suspended skids (skiis), and powered by a rear mounted bio-fuel propellor, the vehicles design ensures a fuel efficient and environmentally friendly journey. The 4.5m by 4.5m craft also features a spiked foot fitted underneath the cockpit which can be activated for emergency stops.

The Moon-Regan team hopes that the vehicle will not only help highlight the environmental plight of the Antarctic region, but will also signal a new phase in polar travel. This will, help to make important research on the continent more practical. As well as having a minimum of moving parts which are likely to freeze in the extreme sub-zero conditions, the CIV is also light enough to be man-hauled over rough terrain.

The Concept Ice Vehicle seems an appropriate symbiosis of efficiency and functionality from a company willing to apply its resources to new areas- the embodiment of the adventurous spirit needed for exploring the worlds last true wilderness. No doubt Andrew Moon, Andrew Regan, and Lotus are hoping more people will be following in their carbon footprints.