News Range Rover ascends stairway to Heaven

22:16  13 february  2018
22:16  13 february  2018 Source:   autofile.ca

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Performance luxury SUV became first vehicle to climb to Heaven 's Gate.

In a stunt unlikely to be repeated, Ho-Pin Tung drives a range rover up the staircase to Heaven 's Gate(Credit: Land Rover UK). The stairway to Heaven 's Gate is the crown jewel of an absolutely stunning piece of landscape around Tianmen Mountain.

2018 Range Rover Sport climbs the stairs to Heavens Gate© Provided by Autofile 2018 Range Rover Sport climbs the stairs to Heavens Gate

The Range Rover Sport may not be Heaven-Sent, but it can say it has now ascended to Heaven’s Gate.

The new Range Rover Sport recently negotiated China’s Tianmen Mountain Road — a 1,518.6-meter mountain that can be climbed using a 11.3-km 99-turn 2-lane road, with may of those turns switchbacks — then finished it off with a climb up the 999-step 45-degree stairway to one of China’s natural formations — a rock natural archway called Heaven’s Gate.

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An electric Range Rover Sport has climbed its own stairway to Heaven to become the first off-roader to ascend the death-defyingly steep 99 hairpin turns and 999-steps of one of China’s most revered national landmarks.

The performance SUV is the first vehicle to climb this ‘ stairway to heaven ’. Not that it is surprising. Why would an SUV ever want to climb stairs other than at a capability demo like Range Rover has at their drive experience centres?

Research

land rover range rover
land rover range rover

From the foot of the mountain to the top of the clouds, the entire drive took a cumulative 21 minutes and 47 seconds.

The new performance luxury SUV became the first vehicle to climb the fabled stairway to Heaven. It was piloted by Tung Ho-Pin, the Netherlands-born Chinese racer who currently races in the FIA World Endurance Championship for Jackie Chan DC Racing.

“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,” said Tung of his drive.

The drive was dubbed the Dragon Challenge, the latest in a series of adventure drives with the latest Range Rover, which also included a record-setting run up Pikes Peak, a record crossing of the Rub' al Khali (the world’s largest sand desert) in the Arabian Peninsula, and a descent on the InfernoMürren downhill course Mürren, Switzerland (a 14.9-km ski run with a drop of 2,170 metres, which every year hosts the largest amateur downhill race in the world)..

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Watch: Range Rover Sport plug-in hybrid ascends 999 steps in Dragon Challenge. Range Rover ascends stairway to Heaven .

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 features a 296bhp Ingenium petrol engine and 114bhp electric motor, which offers a 31-mile all-electric range .

“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,” said Phil Jones, Land Rover Experience expert. “By making it to the summit, we’ve proven the phenomenal capability of the Range Rover Sport like never before – with a genuine world first.”

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QUICK LOOK: 2019 Range Rover P400e PHEV .
New plug-in hybrid will become flagship of Range Rover luxury SUV lineThe battery can power the 85-kW electric motor for up to 50 km, but that’s an optimistic range, and especially if the big SUV is driven off-road. Unless you specify otherwise, the electric power boosts the gasoline power, providing extra performance when it’s needed but also switching itself over to all-electric when possible, to save fuel.

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