Hyundai Santa Fe sets world record for the first passenger car to cross Antarctica

Hyundai has made history as one of its flagship SUVs, the Hyundai Santa Fe became the first passenger car to cross Antarctica and back again. The vehicle was a slightly-modified 2.2 litre diesel-powered version of the original Santa Fe. Thanks to Patrick Bergel, 46- year old tech entrepreneur from London who is the great-grandson of Sir Ernest Shackleton, a famous Antarctic explorer who is best known for leading the ‘Endurance’ expedition of 1914-1916.

Hyundai Santa Fe crosses Antarctica
Notice the expanded tire compartment and an elevated suspension system

Shackleton planned to cross the frozen continent via the South Pole but his ship was trapped in the ice; he later left to find help, and eventually returned to rescue the entire crew.

According to Patrick, he confessed facing challenges but still broke the record, fulfilling his grandfather's dream.

Hyundai Santa Fe crosses Antarctica
Amazing stunts on the frozen continent reveals Santa Fe's prowess to defy challenges
“Surrounded by nothingness, I journeyed across Antarctica for 30 days,” said Patrick Bergel about his adventure driving a modified Hyundai Sante Fe to the ends of the earth in a new short film.

“Finally, I reached the place my great-grandfather dreamed of, a hundred years ago,” he said. 

Hyundai Santa Fe crosses Antarctica
Sporty design gives the Santa Fe a more ergonomic outlook
 The Santa Fe was modified to fit giant low-pressure tires for the 30-day expedition over icy terrain, floating ice caps, and driving conditions with -18-degree Fahrenheit temperatures. Hyundai says the Sante Fe’s body was raised with new sub-frames - “suspension and gears were fitted inside the wheel hubs to cope with the different forces and the need to turn more slowly to run at the same speed.”

Aside from that, the Sante Fe’s fuel tank capacity was increased and converted to run on Jet A-1 fuel — apparently, it’s the only fuel available on the continent - and a pre-heater was installed to keep the fuel from freezing.

Bergel also noted his driving experience with more insight into it.

Hyundai Santa Fe crosses Antarctica
Extra power for higher performance
“The journey was incredible and the car was a pleasure to drive. Sometimes it felt less like driving and more like sailing across the snow. It was a proper expedition with a challenge to accomplish that nobody else had done before,” said Bergel in a statement.

“It was about endurance not speed - we only averaged only 17 mph — and success was about how we and the car handled it. I’m very reluctant to make direct comparisons between what my great grandfather did and what we’ve done recently. But it is quite something to have been the first to do this in a wheeled vehicle.”

Watch the expedition here: www.shackletonsreturn.hyundai.com

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