Watch the Range Rover Sport SVR Shred Tianmen Mountain’s 99 Turns
The Range Rover Sport SVR toasts the Ferrari 458’s record run across the 7-mile course.
It seems Land Rover has realized there are easier ways of summiting China's Tianmen Mountain than driving up 999 stairs. On Tuesday, Land Rover uploaded a video of its new Range Rover Sport SVR taking an easier route up the mountain, by way of the 99-corner, 7-mile road etched into its side.
As with the stair climb, this drive was accomplished by endurance racing driver Ho-Pin Tung, who won the LMP2 at last year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. Also, like the scramble up 999 steps, these 99 corners were slain in a Range Rover Sport, though instead of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, this run was made in the SVR, with a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 heart, pumping out 567-horsepower, and 516 pound-feet of torque.
The goal was to topple the course's record time, possessed by the Ferrari 458 Italia, which, in 2016, ran a 10:31. One immediate challenge for the SVR was a power deficit, as the Ferrari has a 3-hp advantage, on top of its lower center of balance and lesser weight. Tung would need to use every advantage offered by the SVR, most notably, its four-wheel-drive, tremendous torque, and carefully developed suspension.
And in the end, Tung triumphed, maintaining an average speed of 42.8 mph throughout the entirety of the course, completing his time in 9:51, and smashing the Ferrari's record by 40 seconds.
Doing less than 43 mph for much of the course may sound like a piece of cake, but watch Tung's run below, and try not to shriek about the lack of guardrails.