Impressive is an understatement when it comes to showcasing a new vehicle. That is what Land Rover did recently with their brand’s new Range Rover Sport PHEV as it made history to become the first vehicle to climb the stairs to the natural rock arch of Heaven’s Gate in Hunan Province, China.
Driving up Heaven’s Gate:
A combination of on-road dynamics and off-road capability made a perfect stage for Land Rover’s latest stunt. As part of the brand’s series of adventures called The Dragon Challenge, this drive comprised a high speed run on China’s Dragon Road, followed by a climb up the steps to the beautiful and legendary Heaven’s Gate. A count of 99 turns, followed by 999 steps driven at a dauntingly 45-degree staircase.
Beginning at the bottom of the legendary 11.3 km Tianmen Mountain Road (also known as the Dragon Road). The headlining event saw the Range Rover Sport P400e with Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Ho-Pin Tung behind the wheel, and the Terrain Response 2 system in Dynamic mode.
“I’ve experienced Formula E, Formula 1 and won at the 24 Hours of Le Mans but this was without doubt one of the most demanding driving challenges I’ve ever faced,” Ho said.
The new PHEV powertrain gives the Range Rover Sport a zero-emission EV range of up to 50 km when fully charged. During the challenge, Ho-Pin Tung fully utilized its advanced 296 hp Ingenium petrol and 114 hp electric motor to hike up the road section of the challenge. The performance SUV then showed its all-terrain credentials by climbing the steep staircase to the natural rock arch.
Previously, the PHEV model made its debut racing against two-time open-water swimming world champion Keri-anne Payne and endurance athlete Ross Edgley in Devon, UK. Among those impressive exploits include a 2,170m descent of the legendary Inferno downhill course in Műrren, Switzerland, a record-setting hill-climb at Pikes Peak, USA and even crossing the ‘Empty Quarter’ desert in the Arabian Peninsula.
Just weeks ago, the BMW M5 drifted hours and hours into the record books! Read more by clicking here!
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