Christer Gerlach, the record breaking Swedish driver and adventurer, begins his latest round the world epic journey this week (Thursday 18 August) when he sets off from Stockholm’s Royal Palace to drive a completely standard Kia Sorento SUV more than 24,000 kilometres. Christer is determined to complete the first ever solo circuit of the globe via the largely wild, unmapped Siberian wastelands and to demonstrate the reliability, durability and quality of Kia’s award-winning 4x4.

"This kind of journey can be a high-risk project so I am careful to choose a vehicle, preferably a 4x4, in which I have the fullest confidence and Kia seemed to be the perfect partner for this trip," enthuses Christer. His chosen Kia vehicle for this tough challenge is a 3.5-litre, V6-engined Sorento, which will be in completely standard specification and running on normal road tyres. The Swede’s "fullest confidence" even extends to travelling without a support team and to scheduling an engine oil change - at Kia’s headquarters in Seoul, Korea - as the only maintenance throughout this mammoth motoring expedition.

Christer will be leaving his wife Lotta and children Hampus (16) and twins Fanny and Hugo (13), at the family’s Stenhamra home, outside Stockholm. After completing the treacherous crossing of Siberia and Mongolia, and visiting the Korean peninsula, Christer will ship his Sorento to the USA and then cross that continent on the famous Route 66 to New York. He will then fly to the UK and visit seven European countries on his way back home hopefully in time for Christmas.

"Long distance, solo driving is a bit like a drug. Once you’ve done it, you can get hooked. Driving is literally a down-to-earth way of travelling and you can learn a great deal about each country. For me, the road is the destination and that’s why I choose to travel alone." The Gerlach family is used to Christer ‘taking trips’ when he is not working as a journalist. His global adventures have already earned him a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

Yong-Hwan Kim, Senior Executive Vice-President and COO of Kia Motors Corporation, who travelled to Stockholm in June to personally hand over the keys for a new Sorento to Mr Gerlach, looks forward to welcoming the Swede to Kia’s headquarters in Korea in October.

"We are extremely proud to partner Mr Gerlach and wish him a safe and successful journey," comments Mr Kim. "His global challenge will allow us to demonstrate the quality and excellence of our products all around the world and to bring to life our brand slogan ‘The Power to Surprise’."

To read our in depth road test of the Kia Sorento [ click here ]

Published : 18/08/05 Author : Melanie Carter

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