The South Korean automaker has enough confidence in its production series models to allow them to reach the far sides of the world with minimal configuration – such as taking a trip to Antarctica.
The hero car was a regular Santa Fe SUV with the 2.2-liter diesel engine and in order to cope with the Antarctic expedition it received minimal modifications – the suspension and fuel tank were changed, along with the addition of a set of extra-beefy tires. The South Korean carmaker’s Santa Fe made a trip from Union Camp to McMurdo and back again, being the first vehicle that managed the feat. The SUV’s body has been raised with sub-frames, the capacity of the fuel tank increased and the suspension was slightly reworked along with the wheel arches, which had to engulf the huge low-pressure tires. The rest – such as engine, management system, transmission, front differential and driveshaft, were all stock.
The daring act took place in December 2016 and included almost 3,600 miles (roughly 5,800 kilometers) of “icy terrain in bitter conditions.” Hyundai says the extreme distances were covered at temperatures down to minus 28-degrees Celsius, and also at temperatures down to minus 28-degrees Celsius. The driver was Patrick Bergel, the great grandson of legendary polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton – and it was actually timed to honor 100 years since the Shackleton Trans-Antarctic expedition from 1914-16.