SUV drives over the polar continent…
To mark the centenary of the Trans-Antarctic crossing by explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton in 1914-16, Hyundai has made history with an Antarctic crossing of its own but on four wheels.
Battling temperatures of -28 degrees, floating ice caps and icy terrain the Hyundai Santa Fe made the 5800km return trip from the Union Glacier camp to McMurdo Station at an average of 27km/h.
Completing the journey in December last year, it is the first passenger vehicle to drive the route and Hyundai have premiered a short film of the expidition this week.
The only modifications made to the vehicle were the fitting of giant low-pressure tyres and new suspension in order traverse the snow and an increase to the fuel tank capacity to run on jet fuel.
Other than that the 2.2 diesel drivetrain, driveshaft and differential were all stock standard.
Piloting the vehicle was the great grandson of Sir Ernest Shackleton, Patrick Bergel who was coy about any comparisons but proud of the achievement nonetheless.
“Sometimes it felt less like driving and more like sailing across the snow.”
“It is quite something to have been the first to do this in a wheeled vehicle.”