Design & Technology / Product
All-new Sorento drives on water! (Well, a frozen lake actually…) July 3rd, 2009
By Kim, Wan Seung
R&D Strategy team
Extreme tests take the all-new Sorento around the world
The all-new Sorento tears through a blinding snowstorm on a frozen lake. The mercury reads -30ºC (-22ºF). This is extreme driving. Cornering on the icy lake requires nerves of steel. However, the all-new Sorento looks and handles as if it were driving on dry roads.’
Last year, the all-new Sorento test team visited Sweden’s Lake Uddjaure, located four hours north of Stockholm and just one hour away from the Arctic Circle. The frozen lake covers a surface area of approximately 500,000㎡ and poses some of the most challenging driving conditions on earth. Kia came to the lake with the all-new Sorento to check its braking, control systems and tires. The test team braved impossibly cold temperatures and snow to conduct the tests and were able to leave with satisfactory results.
After the bitter cold, the test team headed to yet another extreme destination: Death Valley in the US. The area still holds the title of the hottest place on Earth, when the mercury topped 56.7ºC (134.06ºF) in 1913. The surface temperature of rocks in the valley has been measured at 90ºC (194ºF). The all-new Sorento (the current Korean model) was put to another driving test in Death Valley to check its air conditioning system and driving performance. In temperatures upwards of 50ºC (122ºF), it raced for hundreds of hours at top speed. Although the Sorento showed no signs of fatigue, the test crew wasn’t as sturdy. While riding in the car, gloves were worn to protect themselves from burns from the hot metal parts radiating heat. And when the AC unit was turned off to test sensors, it felt like an inferno with temperatures soaring to over 50ºC (122ºF) inside the car.
In addition to these two challenging conditions, the all-new Sorento has also traveled around the US, along with the mountains of Spain and Switzerland. Local R&D personnel were always on hand for such trips to ensure that the all-new Sorento performed to meet with the demands of the local terrain and consumers.
Testing also took place in Korea along the countries highest mountains. The all-new Sorento sped along winding roads with sudden acceleration and braking, and the engine was pushed to its limit by going up a steep climb with a fully packed trunk on a scorching summer day.
After undergoing thousands of hours of testing in the most extreme places around the world, it’s clear the all-new Sorento will deliver exact performance in all conditions.