Martorell, 12/09/2018. – A nomad on horseback crosses a seemingly endless steppe in one of the least populated countries on the planet. The place is Mongolia, the land where the SEAT Atecas ended up in. The cars made this 20,000 kilometre journey to accompany a group of cyclists, and all the riders and drivers were SEAT employees. These are the highlights of their journey around the former Mongol Empire:
– The adventure begins: “Nerves, visas, ten borders to cross… but most of all great enthusiasm”. This is how Teo García, a 45-year veteran SEAT engineer, defined his emotions before setting out on the trip from Spain to Mongolia. They had to drive their SEAT Atecas over eight thousand kilometres just to get to the city of Ölgiy, in western Mongolia, which was the starting point of their itinerary.
– Plodding through a 6,000 square kilometre national park: six drivers, six cyclists with their bicycles, a doctor, a mechanic and three Atecas make their way to the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park. “We were faced with a very demanding circular route where we had to cross immense plains, with lakes and snow-capped peaks as our travelling companions”, recalls Teo.
– Challenging altitudes: in their travel diary, the group of SEAT Martorell employees detail the challenges they came across during the trip. “We went up nearly 3,000 metres in altitude in an area called ‘the 100 lakes’ where we pedalled and drove on bumpy, rocky terrain”. The SEAT Atecas “overcame steep slopes with ease thanks to their all-road capabilities”, pointed out Teo García.
– Dust, mud and night watches: both the changing landscape and weather conditions in Mongolia put the Atecas through their paces, as they had to drive on dry, rocky trails as well as wet, muddy tracks. “During one of the stages there was an impressive storm and we had to improvise a cross-country trek. In order to drive through the mud, we switched over to ‘Snow’ mode, which enables driving in higher gears”. The SUVs worked tirelessly day and night “as they also gave us light from their front end LEDs while we camped out”, says Teo García.
– The adventure ends: the 4Drive traction system and six different driving modes were key components for successfully completing the journey. “Wherever the bicycles were ridden the cars were sure to follow. The Atecas behaved like true all-terrain vehicles”, concludes Teo García. The vehicles returned to their starting point after their month-long adventure.
– Engineers on two wheels: this was the second challenge taken on by this group. Last year they travelled to Siberia to drive on the frozen Lake Baikal which, at 1,642 metres in depth, makes it the deepest lake in the world.