Hyundai Santa Fe SUV crosses Antarctica

Rodiano Bonacci
Aprile 20, 2017

The expedition saw Patrick and a small team take on nearly 5,800km of icy terrain in bitter conditions - finishing the journey Shackleton never completed.

On the 100 anniversary of renowned polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton's attempt to cross the Antarctic continent, his great-grandson has completed the trip in a Hyundai family auto.

The Hyundai Santa Fe has become the first passenger vehicle to conquer Antarctica as part of an expedition that saw it trek almost 4,000 miles across the icy terrain.

Bergel, a technology entrepreneur, admitted: "I'm not a polar explorer; I'm an indoor guy". So it was a big cultural shift - and it was quite something to have been the first to do this. Sometimes it felt less like driving and more like sailing across the snow.

"What we did though was one-thousandth as hard as what they did. But it was an incredible journey, and an fantastic achievement". "Our brains often confused us into believing we were going uphill rather than down".

Gísli Jónsson from Arctic Trucks, one of the company's most experienced drivers, was tasked with managing the vehicle's preparation and then led the expedition.

A pre-heater was also installed to help the engine warm up in the extreme conditions, while the vehicle was converted to run on jet fuel: the only available on the entire Antarctic continent. The engine, the management system, the transmission, front differential and driveshaft were all completely standard.

The South Korean automaker has managed to find the great-grandson of the legendary explorer, and he got to drive a near-stock Santa Fe 2.2 diesel across the continent of Antarctica to accomplish the expedition.

Other modifications include raising the body to fit low-pressure tires, which operate at one-tenth of a standard tire pressure for the road. New sub-frames had to be installed, along with a different suspension and distinctive gears within the wheel hubs.

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