The journey complete's Ernest Shackleton's 1916 expedition with his great-grandson.
A Korean car named after a New Mexico city taking the descendants of a British explorer across Antarctica. That is the essence of the Hyundai "Shackleton's Return" project, in which a modified version of a Santa Fe crossover treks across the southernmost continent.
Ernest Shackleton was an early 20th century explorer obsessed with crossing Antarctica. On one of his scouting missions, he even brought the first automobile ever to set tire on the icy landmass, but the frigid temperatures rendered the carriage inoperable. Shackleton's most famous expedition took place in 1916, but ice stranded his ship. Shackleton gave up on his dream in order to keep his crew of 27 men alive and get them home.
A hundred years later, Shackleton's great-grandson, Patrick Bergel, teamed up with Hyundai to finish his ancestor's journey. To make the odyssey, the team started with a 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe, modified to endure Antarctica's harsh conditions. An engine heater, a 61-gallon aluminum fuel tank, and 38-inch tires under extended fender flares were added. The entire suspension — links, mounts and axle shafts — were customized to accommodate low-ratio portal gears.
It took Bergel and his team 30 days to make it to McMurdo Sound, his great-granddad's destination 100 years prior. He also brought along the crew, whose names were engraved into the side of the Santa Fe. "Shackleton's expedition did not fail," Bergel says. "It just took a hundred years to complete." You can watch the video below and learn more about the journey at the official website.