Nowadays Venturi is probably known best for its Formula E team, which is run by Susie Wolff and has ex-F1 man Felipe Massa as one of its drivers. But it does other stuff too. Weird stuff.
Like this – the Antarctica. Unveiled last week by Monaco’s Prince Albert, it’s a zero-emissions Antarctic exploration vehicle designed to withstand temperatures as low as -50 degrees. It uses the same battery cells Venturi fits to its cars. Two 60kW motors power tracks, and give a top speed of 20kph – just 12mph. Range? You’re looking at 45 kilometres – or 28 miles. Seating is for three, and there’s room in there for luggage. Oh, and it weighs two tonnes, so don’t be crawling across any thin ice.
Prince Albert, along with the president of Venturi’s North American operation Xavier Chevrin and astronaut Chris Hadfield, will use the Antarctica next March to cover a 42km route between Dease Lake and Telegraph Creek. It’s a homage to a race organised in the 1930s by Andre Citroen in north-western Canada. Called the Croisière Blanche, it featured five vehicles, but because of the weather and terrain none finished.
After that, the Antarctica will be sent to…Antarctica, where it will be given to research scientists. Wonder if they have fast chargers up there…