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Shackleton’s Return Chasing a 100 year-old dream

Shackleton’s Return

Chasing a 100 year-old dream

Hyundai's vision is that people can go anywhere, at anytime by automobile. We found the answer to our vision in the heroic story of Shackleton from one hundred years ago.

There is no greater journey than the pursuit of a dream.

One hundred years after Sir Ernest Shackleton’s fateful Antarctic expedition,
his great-grandson Patrick returned to Antarctica with the
help of Hyundai and a specially adapted Santa Fe 4x4.

Discover the greatest story of survival in the history of exploration,
retraced in a remarkable adventure that began in December 2016.

2016 – 2017
Shackleton’s Return Expedition

"I finally fulfilled the 100-year-old
dream with a round trip of
5,800 km, a 30-day itinerary,
a one year preparation period,
and 100 years in the waiting,
transcending the limits of
time and space."

· Total distance : 5,800 km
· Itinerary : 30 days
· Vehicle : Santa Fe
· Route : Union Camp - Thiels Corner - South Pole
– Amundsen Coast - McMurdo

2016's Pinnacle of Endurance,
Santa Fe from Hyundai

What preparations would be necessary for a car to survive and cross Antarctica in temperatures of -30ºC and below. With an infinite expanse of snowfields and highlands climbing to 3,000m above sea level?

The First SUV in history to cross Antarctica.
Here are the modifications we made to the Santa Fe.
  • Here are the modifications we made to the Santa Fe

    Portal Gear

    A very low gearing ratio is an important factor when driving in a soft snow environment. The portal gear was installed on the vehicle by rebuilding and reengineering the suspension, suspension links, mounts, and axle shafts. As a result, we lowered the gearing ratio to 1.5:1 to achieve the best performance in the soft snow environment in Antarctica.
  • Here are the modifications we made to the Santa Fe


    Key factor is floatation on snow, AT38 tires, used with tire pressure as low as 0.14 bars, were mounted to the vehicle. The body and fenders were altered and trimmed to accompany the larger diameter of the tires with minimized lift. The tires were designed for the best performance in snow and ice road conditions.
  • Here are the modifications we made to the Santa Fe

    Fuel Tank

    The standard fuel tank has been replaced with a 230-liter aluminum fuel tank filled with JET1A for the expedition. The hefty size supports the operation as it minimizes the refueling stops during the expedition.
  • Here are the modifications we made to the Santa Fe

    Engine Heater

    No changes were made to the engine or the engine computer, but an engine heater was necessary to start in extremely cold condition in Antarctica. The heater heats the engine coolant up 79ºC and it will shut off automatically when the target temperature is reached. It will then restart automatically if the coolant temperature drops below 65ºC.

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