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Electric Toyota Land Cruiser makes a record drive underwater

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underwater drive

The Australian team achieved a remarkable feat by setting world records for the longest and deepest underwater drive using a modified 1978 Toyota Land Cruiser affectionately called “Mudcrab.” This classic Land Cruiser embarked on a 4.3-mile journey beneath the harbor of Darwin, Australia, reaching an impressive depth of 98 feet. To accomplish this extraordinary feat, the Land Cruiser underwent significant modifications.

Originally in poor condition, the Land Cruiser was converted to an electric vehicle to operate without requiring oxygen for combustion. Additionally, the tires were filled with 330 pounds of water to aid in the underwater drive. The team had limited time for a saltwater test drive before undertaking the record attempt.

The underwater route took the Mudcrab and its team of engineers, commercial divers, and car enthusiasts from Mandorah to Darwin, replicating a previous attempt from 1983 by another group that fell short due to hitting a rock ledge 1.8 miles into the journey. Nonetheless, the 1983 attempt set records for underwater distance and depth, becoming an inspiring “urban legend” in Darwin for the Mudcrab team.

During the 12-hour underwater drive, the Land Cruiser faced challenges like getting stuck in mud and silt, requiring the use of inflatable buoys to lift it out of the muck. Furthermore, the SUV had to be lifted over a gas pipeline, adding an extra two hours to the journey. Despite the hurdles, the Mudcrab successfully emerged from the dark waters around 9:00 p.m. local time.

It’s worth noting that the Land Cruiser nameplate had been absent from the U.S. market for a couple of years, but a new generation is set to return in 2024 with a retro design and a lower price target.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about underwater drive

1. What world records did the Australian team set with the “Mudcrab” Land Cruiser?

The Australian team set world records for the longest and deepest underwater drive using the modified 1978 Toyota Land Cruiser named “Mudcrab.” They drove it 4.3 miles under the harbor of Darwin, Australia, reaching a maximum depth of 98 feet.

2. How was the Land Cruiser modified for the underwater drive?

The Land Cruiser was converted to an electric vehicle, enabling it to operate without the need for oxygen to burn. Additionally, the tires were filled with 330 pounds of water to assist in the underwater journey.

3. How long did the underwater drive take?

The underwater drive took a total of 12 hours to complete, about five hours longer than originally planned.

4. What challenges did the team face during the record attempt?

The team encountered challenges like getting stuck in mud and silt during the underwater drive. They also had to use inflatable buoys to lift the Land Cruiser out of the muck and lift it over a gas pipeline, which added two hours to the journey.

5. Has the Land Cruiser undergone similar attempts in the past?

Yes, a previous attempt was made in 1983 by another group in Darwin with a different Land Cruiser. However, that attempt fell short when they hit a rock ledge 1.8 miles into the journey. Despite not completing the entire route, the 1983 attempt set records for underwater distance and depth, becoming an inspiring “urban legend” for the Mudcrab team.

6. What is the significance of the Land Cruiser nameplate?

The Land Cruiser nameplate had been absent from the U.S. market for some time, but it is set to make a return in 2024 with a new generation featuring a retro design and a lower price target.

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