Watch a Range Rover Sport PHEV Drive up 999 Steps to Heaven's Gate
This hybrid Range Rover is the first vehicle to ever conquer Tianmen Mountain and reach Heaven's Gate.
A Range Rover Sport plug-in hybrid electric vehicle has become the first vehicle to reach the summit of Tianmen Mountain in China, climbing up 999 steps to Heaven's Gate for Land Rover's "Dragon Challenge."
To complete the trial, Formula E driver Ho-Pin Tung had to take his 2018 Range Rover P400e up the infamous Tianmen Mountain Road, navigating seven miles and 99 turns of tight twisties. Once he successfully completed the demanding road course, Tung began the harrowing ascent up to the Heaven's Gate rock arch at the top of the mountain, which no vehicle has ever set tire on.
The stakes were high, as Jaguar Experience's Phil Jones explained that his team had no way of proving that this PHEV could handle this challenge during testing. One errant steering or throttle input and the Range Rover Sport would come tumbling down the treacherous staircase.
"I’ve experienced Formula E, Formula 1 and won at the 24 Hours of Le Mans but this was without [a] doubt one of the most demanding driving challenges I’ve ever faced," said Tung. "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."
Tung tackled the 45-degree stairway using the Range Rover Sport's Terrain Response 2 system, and also had help from the PHEV's hybrid motor, which pumps out a combined total of 398-horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque.
While this might seem like a heck of a feat, it arguably isn't the most extreme thing this luxury off-roader has done. The Range Rover Sport has already proven its mettle by driving across the 250,000 square miles "Empty Quarter" desert, conquering the Pike's Peak Hillclimb, and taking on the Inferno downhill ski challenge in Switzerland.
- RELATEDBentley Will Race a Bentayga Crossover at the Pikes PeakBentley's W-12-powered luxury SUV will attack the famous hill climb event this June.READ NOW
- RELATEDDavid Beckham's Custom Range Rover Is for SaleThis customized 4.2-liter supercharged V8 luxury SUV is currently up on eBay.READ NOW
- RELATEDWatch a Range Rover Evoque Drive Over the World's Largest Speed BumpCue the flabbergasted and deeply impressed onlookers.READ NOW
- RELATEDWatch a Range Rover Flip Over During a Sad J-Turn AttemptMaybe don't try high-speed, evasive maneuvers in reverse in your top-heavy SUV.READ NOW
- RELATEDLand Rover Reveals 400-HP V8 Defender Works Models to Celebrate the Brand's 70th AnniversaryThe fastest Defenders ever made have arrived...but you won't see them in the U.S.READ NOW