2010 Bio-Inspired Ice Vehicle Concept
The Bio-Inspired Ice Vehicle (BIV). Built in 2008 with Lotus know-how, the BIV is currently used by the Moon Regan Transantartic Expedition for an epic Antarctic crossing. The team reached the South Pole on December 3, after a week.
BIV and team resilience was put to the test by the bad weather, highly irregular terrain (known as sastrugi) and mechanical problems. Taking on the lead vehicle role, the BIV is ‚Äúan agile route-finder‚Äù, according to the expedition‚Äôs official website. Two, six-wheeled Ford Econolines with 7.3-liter diesel V8s, handle the role of the support vehicles.
The BIV is fitted with three skis and independent suspension, which allow for optimum weight distribution and increased stability. Weighing in at just 700 kg (1.543 lbs), the BIV‚Äôs biggest advantage over conventional vehicles is that it can be hauled by people in situations when moving on its own is impossible. Spiked brakes provide stopping power.
Inside of BIV there are enough space only for the driver, who is greeted by a bucket seat and a sport steering wheel.
The concept support by featured a 1.2-liter BMW engine, modified to run on E85 bioethanol but it was replaced with a more powerful Rotax 914 turbocharged unit, better suited for low temperatures and higher altitudes. The engine drives a three-blade variable-pitch propeller that can push the BIV to a top speed of 84 mph (135 km/h) in ideal conditions.
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