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Hyundai Santa Fe Antarctic Expedition: In an SUV to the South Pole

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Hyundai Santa Fe Antarctic Expedition
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D he polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton was at the beginning of the past He became a famous man in the 20th century and is so in England to this day. However, less because of his discoveries than because of his failure: The spectacular rescue of his crew after a shipwreck in the Antarctic region went down in history. Shackleton had actually planned to be the first person to cross the Antarctic continent from north to south.

The 100th anniversary of the 'Endurance Expedition' was the occasion for Shackleston's great-grandson, Patrick Bergel, to take on his great-grandfather's mission to come to an end. However, thanks to modern technology, it is much more comfortable than the adventurers 100 years ago, because Bergel drove by car. Hyundai provided a Santa Fe and found a suitable project partner in Arctic Trucks. The Icelandic specialist company is often in demand when extreme trips through the polar regions of the world are planned. Accordingly, the Santa Fe was converted according to the usual Arctic Trucks pattern: huge wheel cutouts and the largest tires that can be fitted.

With the SUV to the South Pole

Arctic Trucks usually prefers to build Pickups around, the favorite model is the Hilux, such a three-axle conversion also accompanied the expedition as a service and transport vehicle. Due to the large tires with extremely low air pressure, the vehicles do not sink into the snow and can therefore be used in a similar way to tracked vehicles.

In 30 days in the Antarctic summer, the entourage crossed the icy continent in 24 hours of daylight, with summer in Antarctica is relative: the temperatures were down to -28 degrees. Bergel drove a diesel Santa Fe with the 2.2-liter four-cylinder. No changes were made to the engine itself or to its control system. However, an auxiliary heater was installed in order to be able to warm up the engine before the start in the extremely low temperatures.

Axle portals and aircraft fuel

The retrofitters met the huge, 38-inch high tires with axle portals, which achieved two desired effects. On the one hand, they increased the ground clearance and thus created additional space for the monster rubbers, and the portals also allowed a translation change by a factor of 1.5: 1. So the Santa Fe had practically built in an off-road gear reduction to compensate for the huge increase in the rolling circumference of the tires. hazardswas with a tire pressure of just 0.14 bar.

The considerable distances on the daily stages and the consumption caused by the large tires and the difficult surface made a new tank necessary, the expedition Hyundai got a specially made one Aluminum tank with a volume of 230 liters installed. In order to rule out problems with oversold diesel, the fuel was switched to Jet-A1, aviation kerosene. This is cold-proof down to -47 degrees.

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