Venturi Antartica polar explorer nears completion

Long gone are the days when Venturi produced V6-powered performance cars like the pretty Atlantique coupe and Transcup roadster. Since the turn of the millennium, the focus for the Monegasque company has turned to electric power, as evidenced by its Formula E team and current line-up, which is comprised of EVs. They're not all boring ecoboxes, however, with three being compact sports cars and the next arrival taking the shape of an ultra-rugged vehicle called the Antartica.

As its name suggests, this pod-cum-snowmobile is designed to work in some of the world's coldest climates as a zero-emission polar exploration vehicle. If that sends alarm bells ringing in your head because, well, freezing air temperatures aren't exactly a battery's favourite thing, Venturi assures us that its latest project, which was initiated by Monaco's Prince Albert II via his foundation and is backed by an astronaut and explorer no less, has overcome such problems.

As pre-production testing nears completion, the company says the Antartica has run in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Celsius and is capable of travelling for up to 28 miles, thanks to its use of a twin-motor setup producing 80hp. While its range might seem miniscule compared to the latest 200-mile EVs set to arrive on the car market, it's impressive for a vehicle that'll work in such inhospitable conditions. Plus, scientists located near to the Earth's poles tend to stick close to their base, for obvious reasons.

The extensive use of glass means Antartica can provide its driver with an uninterupted 180-degree view of the landscape ahead. There are two side doors and two windows at the front and rear, to make it easy for scientists wrapped in multiple layers of thermals to hop in and out onto the snow.

Looking more like something that would emerge from Thunderbird 2 than a scientific tool, Antartica can be forgiven for its rather sluggish 12.5mph top speed, then. Besides, Prince Albert II's idea to bring near silent, zero-emission transport to some of the most fragile regions of the Earth is an admirable one. Quite the forethought for a man who also loves his supercars and motorsport.

P.H. O'meter

Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Rate this article

Comments (16) Join the discussion on the forum

  • steveb8189 06 Feb 2019

    looks pretty cool but a 28 mile range means you can probably only travel 10 miles somewhere and back without too much range anxiety. Doesn't that mean you're ship or base with a diesel generator to power recharge the thing still pollutes pretty locally? Are any of these polar exploration ships nuclear?

  • 1781cc 06 Feb 2019

    Just don't rescue any lone huskies or we are all in the sh*t!

  • cookie1600 06 Feb 2019

    Looks like William Towns was way ahead of things on the 'all round vision' front many years ago:

    Couple of tracks on the evolution of this, the Elswick Envoy, add a 'leccy motor and jobs a good 'un

  • Du1point8 06 Feb 2019

    Wonder if the crap range is due to the batteries keeping the cab warm?

    What they need is a Radioisotope thermoelectric generator, then they can remove the batteries and keep warm too.

  • GranCab 06 Feb 2019

    All you need is .....

View all comments in the forums Make a comment