In one of the most daring challenges Land Rover has ever taken up they sent a 2018 Range Rover Sport PHEV to China for a hill climb. It wan’t an ordinary hill climb,mind you, as the course included 99 turns and 999 steps. It was the Dragon Road the hybrid Range Rover crossed to reach the Heaven’s Gate rock arch.
The petrol-electric 2018 Range Rover Sport PHEV (plug-in hybrid) thus becomes the world’s first SUV to accomplish such a feat and reach the heavenly gates of, well, Heaven’s Gate. The vehicle was a showroom standard Range Rover Sport P400e with Terrain Response 2 system in Dynamic mode, piloted by Formula E driver Ho-Pin Tung. Though the practice for this challenge has proved rather difficult, the Range Rover covered the 11.3km Tianmen Mountain Road without breaking much sweat. Then at a flick of the Terrain Response system the SUV was ready to tackle the daunting steps.
2018 Range Rover Sport PHEV features a 300PS Ingenium petrol engine and 116PS electric motor. The SUV is one of the most frugal inits class (taking into account its awesome capabilities) and even offers 50 km of zero-emission electric driving. Of course, no Range Rover Sport buyer is ever going to put the car through such hardships. But still, it must feel pretty good to know the Sport is capable of dealing with extremely rough ground should the need arise to do so.
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.”