Ice-racing Bentley Continental GTs aside, not every vehicle can conquer the Arctic’s icy chill. Usually, you’d think a specialty vehicle like the Sherp ATV or Rokon Trail-Breaker, or a truck equipped with tank treads would be required. However, as Car and Driver showed by off-roading in the Arctic Circle with a Lamborghini Urus, many modern vehicles are up to the challenge. Case in point: the Ford F-150. Several companies have already tuned the truck to beyond-Raptor levels. And now, the Norwegian tuner Arctic Trucks is having a go.
Arctic Trucks Ford F-150 AT44 build history
Usually, Motor1 reports, Arctic Trucks specializes in vehicles like the Toyota Hilux pickup and Land Cruiser SUV. In fact, it was Arctic Trucks that prepped the Hiluxes Top Gear used to travel to the magnetic North Pole.
Up until now, Autoblog reports, the only Ford truck the tuner supported was the heavy-duty F-350. Isuzu, Volkswagen, Nissan, and even Jeep are supported, TFLTruck reports, but not really Ford. However, with the recently-spotted Ford F-150 AT44, that no longer seems to be the case.
Arctic Trucks Ford F-150 AT44 specs and features
The ‘44’ part of the Ford F-150 AT44’s name refers to the tires. They’re 44” snow tires made by Nokian, one of the best-reviewed winter tire manufacturers. The compounds, according to Arctic Trucks CEO Emil Grimsson, were co-developed with Nokian. It appears the tires are called the Nokian Polar Explorers, which fits. And, to give the new tires space, the truck got fender flares. TFLTruck also reports Arctic Trucks “augmented” the suspension, but no specific details are available.
The build is based on an FX4-equipped Ford F-150. And going on the badge on the corner of the tailgate, it appears to be the Lariat trim. Arctic Trucks reportedly haven’t modified the truck’s drivetrain. This F-150 is equipped with the 10-speed automatic and 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6, which produces 375 hp and 470 lb-ft.
Off-road capability and pricing
Autoblog reports Grimsson was worried that the truck’s weight would make it sink in the snow. But, over 2 weeks of testing in March 2020, that appears to have been a non-issue. Grimsson credits the truck’s aluminum sheet metal for this.
The only problem Grimsson encountered was having to approach some river banks carefully, due to the Ford F-150’s “fairly low ground clearance.” In addition, the truck’s tall ride height complicated some river crossings, and the Ford had to be yanked free by the support vehicle’s tow chain occasionally. However, Grimsson reports once the tires were deflated down to 2.5 PSI, the truck’s relatively low center of gravity and long wheelbase, combined with the engine’s output, made climbing easy.
As of this writing, Arctic Trucks has not released any further details about the build or the Ford F-150 AT44’s pricing. This is the first time the company’s modified a full-size, light-duty American pickup, and will likely continue to tweak the design.
So, if anyone wants to retrace Robert Peary’s steps, you now have the truck to do it in.
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