Meet Patrick Bergel. He may sound like a regular joe, but he has achieved something extraordinary. Just like his great-grandfather, famous explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, he made his feat by becoming the first person to drive across the Antarctic – in a Hyundai Santa Fe.
The expedition, held in December last year, offers close to 5,800 km of challenging icy terrain, not forgetting the brutally frigid weather. It’s also in line to commemorate the centenary of Shackleton’s heroic Trans-Antarctic expedition of 1914-16.
What’s more amazing is that the Santa Fe used in this journey is largely the same as the one sold in showrooms. Still, few modifications are required, like using A-1 jet fuel for the standard 2.2-litre diesel engine because it’s the only fuel sold in that continent. The tyres have been swapped for snow-terrain tyres, and special suspension have been fitted.
Patrick spent 30 days persevering, driving at an average speed of 27 km/h. All that effort paid off substantially in his favour after etching his name (and the Santa Fe) in the book of records.
Back at home, the Hyundai Santa Fe is sold by Hyundai Malaysia from RM168k for the base 2.4-litre petrol variant to RM201k for the range topper 2.2-litre diesel.