BBC’s Top Gear Loves Toyota Trucks
If you haven’t seen the Top Gear attempt to destroy a 190k mile diesel Toyota Hilux, you owe it to yourself to watch the following video. Aired back in November of 2003, this video has become a bit of a cult classic.
Whether you’re a fan of Toyota or not, you’ve got to admire a truck that starts after spending the night in the ocean. You could also say that this is where Top Gear’s love affair with the Toyota truck began.
Toyota Trucks To The North Pole
Following the worldwide popularity of their first attempt to kill a Toyota, Top Gear decided to try and drive a Toyota Hilux to the North Pole in 2007. Starting in Resolute (a tiny, tiny little village in the furthest Northern reaches of Canada, see map below), the Top Gear crew traveled 400 miles over the course of 7 days to reach the North Pole (OK, magnetic North pole) in specially equipped Toyota Hilux pickups. As you can imagine, the pace was slow due to the harsh elements.
The Hilux was modified by Arctic Trucks, an Iceland-based company specializing in Arctic vehicle conversions. The modifications to these trucks included:
- Installation of massive 38″ snow tires that could be inflated at as little as 4 psi
- To keep fuel and coolant from freezing, special heaters were added
- Heavy duty Aluminum skid plates were added to the underside to protect against rock-hard ice
- Adding front and rear locking differentials with an incredibly low 4.88:1 gear ratio
- A bunch of cool accessories like a bull bar with lights, satellite telephone, and official Polar Bear protection (a.k.a. 12-gauge shotgun)
- Recovery gear (winch, axes, shovels, chainsaw), survival gear, and cameras made the trek too.
Toyota Trucks Visit A Volcano
Following the success of their North pole expedition, Top Gear took advantage of an impending volcanic eruption in Iceland to do one more extreme Toyota truck test: venture as close to an erupting volcano in a truck as possible.
The trucks that visited the Volcano were equipped nearly identically to the trucks that visited the North Pole (sans the shot guns, basically). There was a legitimate reason to go bombing around near this volcano, by the way – the threat of super-fine volcanic ash made it too dangerous for aircraft to go near the volcano. The Hilux was the safest way to setup equipment.
Clearly, there’s a love affair going on between Top Gear and the Hilux. Of course, the Hilux is quite similar to the Tacoma, the most popular small truck in North America. The question is, can we get Top Gear to take a look at a Tundra?
Filed Under: TundraHeadquarters.com