Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Hyundai Santa Fe conquers the Antarctic driven by Great Grandson of Sir Ernest Shackleton - I Dig those fancy wheelarches!

Hyundai Motor has made history when a near-standard 2.2-litre diesel Santa Fe became the first passenger vehicle to be driven across the continent of Antarctica from Union Camp to McMurdo and back again. The Santa Fe was driven by Patrick Bergel, the Great Grandson of legendary polar explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. 


Do note that the engine may be stock, but those  wheel arches, suspension, wheels and tyres are hardly stock. Of course, you don't conquer the South Pole without preparation. I wonder if one can get those wheel arch extensions for the Santa Fe here. It would look mighty cool.



PRESS RELEASE
Shackleton Returns: Hyundai Santa Fe conquers the Antarctic driven by Great Grandson of Sir Ernest Shackleton

 30-day expedition achieves first crossing of the coldest and driest continent

on earth by passenger car

 Standard 2.2-litre diesel Hyundai Santa Fe with limited modifications

traverses the continent from Union Camp to McMurdo and back again driven

by Patrick Bergel, great-grandson of Sir Ernest Shackleton

 Expedition made into a short film by Hyundai Motor – log on to:

www.Shackletonsreturn.hyundai.com or https://youtu.be/J01mqggN0h8

April 25, 2017 - Hyundai Motor has made history when a near-standard 2.2-litre

diesel Santa Fe became the first passenger vehicle to be driven across the continent

of Antarctica from Union Camp to McMurdo and back again. The Santa Fe was

driven by Patrick Bergel, the Great Grandson of legendary polar explorer, Sir Ernest

Shackleton.

The journey which took place in December 2016 was timed to commemorate the

centenary of Shackleton’s heroic Trans-Antarctic expedition of 1914-16 and has

been made into a short film by Hyundai which will be shown for the first time tonight

at an event at the Hospital Club, London.

Scott Noh, Head of Overseas Marketing Group, Hyundai Motor Company said: “We

were aware of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s story and as a Company felt a resonance with

his courage and pioneering spirit. Our film celebrates this spirit and through Patrick,

his Great Grandson, completes his dream to cross Antarctica – just a hundred years

later. We hope that it showcases Hyundai as brand that that is more than just a

means of transportation.”

The 30-day expedition saw the Santa Fe production vehicle, which was modified only

slightly to fit giant low-pressure tyres, take on almost 5,800km of icy terrain in bitter

conditions. It not only had to cover extreme distances at temperatures down to minus

28-degrees Celsius but it had to plot new paths on floating ice caps that have never

been travelled by wheeled vehicle before.

Patrick Bergel said: “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.

It was about endurance not speed - we only averaged only 27km/h – 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.”

One of Antarctica’s most experienced driving experts, Gisli Jónsson from Arctic

Trucks was tasked with managing the vehicle’s preparation before the event and

then led the expedition out in the Antarctic.

Jónsson explained: “It was a pretty standard Santa Fe. The engine, the management

system, the transmission, front differential and driveshaft were all completely

standard. We did have to fit big, low-pressure tyres though – they are important as

it’s all about getting the vehicle up on top of the snow rather than ploughing through

it. We were running on one-tenth of a normal road tyre pressure - it’s so soft you can

drive over someone’s hand and it won't hurt them! The car ‘trod’ so lightly that all our

tyre tracks were gone by the time we came back.”

To fit the tyres, the car’s body had to be raised with new sub-frames and 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.

The only other modifications were to increase the fuel tank capacity, to convert the

car to run on Jet A-1 fuel – the only fuel available on the continent and to install a

pre-heater for the cold. “People who have a lot of experience of Antarctica know what

it does to machinery: basically, anything and everything falls apart,” said Jónsson.

“Even the big machines crack up and break apart.This was the first time this full

traverse has ever been attempted, let alone doing it there and back. A lot of people

thought we would never ever make it and when we returned they couldn’t believe

we’d actually done it!”

The film can be viewed at www.Shackletonsreturn.hyundai.com or

https://youtu.be/J01mqggN0h8.

-Ends-

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