In the Riviera ski resort, Venturi engineers have tested this “zero emission” machine capable of evolving in a hostile environment. The first step before British Columbia then Antarctic, with Prince Albert II at the controls of this strange machine.

It is a vehicle for the least atypical. As much for its robust design and clean lines as for its scientific and ecological design. Antarctica, developed by Venturi, is the first zero-emission engine capable of evolving in a hostile environment. Understand, temperatures approaching minus 50 degrees.

The genesis of this crawler vehicle? A report of Prince Albert II in 2009. While he visits some 21 scientific research stations in Antarctica, he realises that, on the spot, there is no means of mobility clean to work, transport equipment or move.

The idea has germinated. A prototype is born. Then a second version, more elaborate technically.

After the promotion phase, with the presentation with great pomp at the Prince’s Palace on November 30th, Antarctica was recently tested in Auron. Just two hours drive from the Principality.

“WE ARE CONFIDENT”

“For three days and four nights, these tests allowed the crawler to be tested at negative temperatures on terrain similar to that of Antarctica.” The engineering staff also validated the onboard facilities, battery management and engine, the functions of lighting and defrosting but also the load and the parking of the vehicle in cold outdoor “, one details with the Venturi side. In short, a battery of tests that, it seems, prove quite promising for the future.

In the wake of these trials, Antarctica spent three days in a climatic chamber near Modena, Italy. There, the engineering staff has validated other points in extreme conditions: minus 40 degrees to mercury. The charging system, the antifreeze and defrost system, the mechanical and electrical opening and closing of the doors, but also the operation of the display screen, and the joystick were screened.

“We are confident that we have all the necessary technical and human elements to enable the vehicle to function optimally,” says Valerio Amadio, Test Manager, “so far we have been able to respond quickly to the concerns that have emerged. Attention is now focused on details such as correcting and improving the aesthetics and comfort of Antarctica, and the next test phase in Canada will continue this positive momentum.”

PRINCE ALBERT II AT THE CONTROLS IN MARCH

In early March, a new test phase will begin on the British Columbia side. Over there, at this time of year, temperatures are around minus 35 degrees. Values similar to Antarctica.

In the wake, the Venturi team will pay a symbolic tribute to “The White Cruise” of 1934, the famous raid that marked the history of the automobile before the war. A mission, “Back to Telegraph Creek”, predicts that Antartica will use the 42 km portion between Dease Lake and Telegraph Creek that this cruise did not cover at the time. Because, first, the deplorable state of the ground but also Dantesque weather conditions.

On this unique expedition, Prince Albert II, Chris Hadfield, a Canadian astronaut, and Xavier Chevrin, president of Venturi North America, will take over the vehicle.

“WONDERFUL ADVENTURE”

Then will come the time of the purely scientific expedition — that in Antarctica. Antarctica will go out there and provide scientists with a solution allowing them access to the study areas while avoiding the pollution inherent to thermal vehicles.

“As the ultimate goal gets closer, I’m looking forward to the magnitude of this challenge that we have launched: Antarctica is a wonderful adventure made in Monaco that combines innovation, high technology and participation in the protection of the environment and scientific research”, concluded, delighted, Gildo Pastor, the president delegate of Venturi Automobiles.