Watch this hybrid Range Rover Sport take on the most dangerous road in the world
In a bid to prove the Range Rover Sport plug-in hybrid (PHEV) is just as capable as any other off-road vehicle out there, Land Rover has been using it to pull off crazy driving challenges around the world. The latest challenge, the 99-turn, 999-stepped Heaven’s Gate road on Tianmen Mountain, China.
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Starting at the bottom of the seven-mile Tianmen Mountain Road, the Range Rover Sport P400e took the snaking course to its summit, where it then faced the 45-degree staircase approach to Heaven’s Gate. Altogether, the challenge was completed in just 22 minutes and 41 seconds by Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Ho-Pin Tung.
In completing the challenge, both Tung and the Range Rover Sport P400e became the first driver and car in the world to ascend to Heaven’s Gate.
It may sound like something of a marketing gimmick, and it certainly is, but it makes for incredibly impressive viewing.
In the past, the Range Rover Sport has tackled Saudi Arabia’s Empty Quarter, summited Pikes Peak and taken the Inferno Mürren downhill ski course. This time around though, it wasn’t a petrol Range Rover Sport taking on the challenge but Land Rover’s plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.
Earlier this year the Range Rover Sport PHEV also went up against open-water swimming world champion Keri-anne Payne and endurance athlete Ross Edgley to prove its power as a capable off-road PHEV.
Land Rover put together the Dragon Challenge to prove the same point, that a PHEV off-road vehicle is just as capable as any petrol-driven SUV. Admittedly, as part of the challenge, Ho-Tin Tung did make use of the car’s petrol engine, but its electric motors were there to deliver instant power when exiting the tight turns of the Mountain Road.
If you’re interested, there’s a tonne of extra behind the scenes footage of the challenge over on the Land Rover YouTube page, but this short video on the scale of the challenge faced is certainly an interesting watch.