Is there no driving challenge beyond the scope of Toyota's Hilux? It has completed a journey across Antarctica to the South Pole, further proving the go-anywhere qualities that helped it become the first car to be driven to the magnetic North Pole for a TV programme, says the pick-up's manufacturer.

Toyota says the expedition also demonstrated that Hilux has advantages over Snowcat when it comes to being a sensible transport choice. It can travel much faster, uses significantly less fuel and can carry more passengers - in more comfort, to boot.

And with lower CO2 emissions from its three-litre, D-4D engine, Toyota says.

Hilux models were used as support vehicles for the Amundsen Omega3 South Pole Race, an 800km skiing challenge that pays homage to the historic rival expeditions of explorers Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott.

The Hilux Double Cabs were prepared for the extreme conditions by Reykjavik-based company Arctic Trucks, which also produced the challenge machines used in the BBC's Top Gear television special.

Toyota says that while towing custom-built trailers, the Hilux at times had to cope with loads up to 2.5 tonnes - 1.5 tonnes more than their specified capacity, and were also fitted with a system to melt snow while on the move, using heat from the engine.

Pressed into service to ferry supplies, scientists and team support groups and to carry out reconnaissance duties, the four Hilux have covered more than 3200 kilometres each across the rough, frozen terrain in temperatures as low as -30C.

Toyota says the Hilux has been used as a workhorse by scientists based at Camp Novo and other Antarctic research stations, and is being reviewed as the solution for future transport requirements in the area.

More information about Arctic Trucks' Hilux modifications can at the company's www.arctictrucks.com web site.