Aussies Drive EV Land Cruiser 7km Underwater, Set Records
A group of gearheads from Down Under have apparently set a new world record for driving a car underwater, taking a specially prepped old-school Land Cruiser about 7 kilometers (approximately 4.5 miles) across the floor of Darwin Harbour.
After emerging from the briny deep, one onlooker told the team to “drive this thing straight to the pub.” It doesn’t get more Oz than that.
Team leaders spent months building the truck, called Mudcrab, using a 1978 Land Cruiser body and fitting it with a waterproof electric motor. Reports say its tires were 150 kilograms (375 pound) units filled with water, a detail which surely helped with buoyancy issues but had to have put a strain on the EV powertrain. Still, they managed to complete the journey in about 12 hours despite running into a few roadblocks (sea blocks?) along the way.
Splashing into the water via a boat ramp at 9:00 am local time on Saturday was the easy part. With the harbor reaching up to 30 meters deep (almost 100 feet) in places, the crew said each driver could only spend about 15 minutes at the helm thanks to severe pressure at those depths. This being Australia, where every creature in nature is absolutely terrifying, there was also apparently no shortage of saltwater crocodiles and sharks sniffing around to examine the four-wheeled intruders.
Major hiccups occurred when the LC’s tires got bogged down in silty conditions, requiring the use of floatation devices to lift it out of the mire. A gas pipeline also hampered forward progress. The crew’s original plan called for them to reach landfall by 4:00pm but they blew past that time by several hours, instead emerging from the deep around 9:00 pm. That delay takes nothing away from the accomplishment, which was still a bonkers feat and one which apparently felled two Guinness world records.
Local stories from earlier this year describe the self-funded project as starting when one of the project managers snagged the Land Cruiser for $5,000 ($3,400 USD) off an Oz equivalent to Craigslist. There’s no mention of horsepower or torque produced by the EV powertrain but it must be a decently robust amount to overcome the difficulties of pushing through all that water at a depth of 100 feet. Basic math tells us they averaged about 0.375 mph during this journey but that’s hardly the point.
And, yes, in true Aussie style that’s one of the team in the hero shot you may have seen on social media holding a barramundi fish aloft, one of two they captured along the way. Well done.
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