RANGE ROVER SPORT PHEV IS FIRST SUV TO CLIMB TO HEAVEN’S GATE

12 February 2018

A dizzying 99 turns and 999 daunting steps didn’t stop the new Range Rover Sport PHEV from completing a world-first at one of China’s most famous landmarks. The petrol-electric performance SUV has become the first vehicle to climb the stairs to the natural rock arch of Heaven’s Gate.

  • Plug-in hybrid (PHEV) performance SUV climbs towering 45-degree, 999-step staircase in world-first Dragon Road challenge
  • Range Rover Sport PHEV shows it’s dynamic breadth of capability on one of the world’s most challenging driving roads before tackling the epic climb to Heaven’s Gate rock arch in China
  • 404PS Range Rover Sport combines Ingenium petrol power with battery technology for supreme efficiency and performance – plus zero-emissions capability
  • P400e model was piloted by Le Mans class-winner and Panasonic Jaguar Racing reserve and test driver Ho-Pin Tung

The challenge began at the bottom of the legendary 11.3km Tianmen Mountain Road (known as the Dragon Road).  The showroom standard Range Rover Sport P400e took on the demanding course, with Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Ho-Pin Tung behind the wheel and the Terrain Response 2 system in Dynamic mode.

At the summit of the road, the Formula E driver optimised Terrain Response for the second part of the challenge, conquering the towering 45-degree staircase of 999 steps leading to China’s legendary Heaven’s Gate using a combination of Ingenium petrol and electric battery power.

Ho-Pin Tung said: “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. The Range Rover Sport PHEV performed brilliantly as it inspired real confidence on the mountain road and climbed the stairs up to Heaven’s Gate effortlessly.”

The new PHEV powertrain gives the Range Rover Sport a zero-emission EV range of up to 50km when fully charged but Ho-Pin Tung used its advanced 300PS Ingenium petrol engine and 116PS electric motor to make short work of the road section of the challenge. The performance SUV then showed its uncompromised all-terrain credentials by climbing the steep staircase to the natural rock arch.

Phil Jones, Land Rover Experience expert, said: "This was the hardest Range Rover Sport challenge I’ve ever been involved with because, until we reached the top, we couldn’t categorically say we would succeed. By making it to the summit, we’ve proven the phenomenal capability of the Range Rover Sport plug-in hybrid like never before – with a genuine world first.”

RANGE ROVER SPORT PHEV CLIMBS TO HEAVEN’S GATE
RANGE ROVER SPORT PHEV CLIMBS TO HEAVEN’S GATE

RANGE_ROVER_SPORT_PHEV_CLIMBS_TO_HEAVEN’S_GATE

The Dragon Challenge is the latest in a series of adventures completed by the Range Rover Sport after the PHEV model made its debut in a race against two-time open-water swimming world champion Keri-anne Payne and endurance athlete Ross Edgley in Devon, UK.

Previous exploits include a record-setting hill-climb at Pikes Peak, USA, a record crossing of the ‘Empty Quarter’ desert in the Arabian Peninsula and a 2,170m descent of the legendary Inferno downhill course in Mürren, Switzerland. 

To learn about the 2018 Range Rover Sport visit:

Land Rover UK

Further information

Kim Palmer | Public Relations Manager, Land Rover UK

07795 666 169 kpalmer@landrover.com

 

Tracey Tompsett | Senior Press Officer, Land Rover UK

07469 032 064 ttompset@landrover.com

 

Social Media | @LandRoverUKPR

Notes to Editors

To accompany this story there is a selection of 'behind-the-scenes' videos to accompany the 6-minute documentary: 

  • The Driver
  • The Challenges
  • Testing
  • The Drive
  • The Vehicle

 

About Range Rover Sport P400e

The Range Rover Sport P400e uses Land Rover’s advanced plug-in hybrid electric vehicle technology, combining an 85kW (116PS) electric motor and a 2.0-litre 300PS (221kW) Ingenium petrol engine to produce 404PS (297kW) and 640Nm of torque.1

[1] Peak internal combustion engine and electric power not delivered at same engine speed.

 

About Land Rover

Since 1948 Land Rover has been manufacturing authentic 4x4s that represent true 'breadth of capability' across the model range. Defender, Discovery, Discovery Sport, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover, Range Rover Velar and Range Rover Evoque each define the world's SUV sectors, with 80 per cent of this model range exported to over 100 countries.

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