This Diesel-Powered Hyundai Santa Fe Just Defeated Antarctica


Who knew the Santa Fe had it in it?

It turns out the Hyundai Santa Fe is far more capable than we ever thought. It’s not a true body-on-frame chassis SUV, but rather a crossover, so you can easily understand our reservations. But Hyundai has just proven the Santa Fe can be pretty badass. To commemorate the centenary of Sir Ernest Shakleton, the great polar explorer, the automaker took what’s essentially a normal everyday Santa Fe, tacked on a set of large, low-pressure tires and a 250-liter fuel tank and a pre-heater (because it’s cold), and sent it to the very bottom of the earth.

Driven by Shackleton’s great grandson, Patrick Bergel, the 2.2-liter diesel-powered Santa Fe began its journey in the snow and freezing cold last December, aiming to retrace Shackleton’s 1914-16 Trans-Antarctic expedition.

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The 30-day expedition was completed that same month, and this was the first time a passenger vehicle had ever traversed the Antarctic continent. The whole idea was pretty insane, and a Hyundai Santa Fe isn’t the first vehicle that’d come to mind for such a grueling journey like this, but hey, mission accomplished.