Described as a dragon circling the stretch of road. The Range Rover Sport took every one mountainside, the road on the Tianmen Mountain in China contains no fewer than 99 turns. It’s a place you’d expect to find a sportscar — something small and nimble, the roof down, and the sound echoing off the hillside.
But that’s not a sports car zipping up the mountain. It’s an SUV — a sports SUV — none other than the latest Range Rover Sport. This was only the first part of the Dragon Challenge faced by professional racing driver Ho- Pin Tung. His mission: to conquer the famous, terrifying stretch of road. The Range Rover took every one of those 99 turns in its stride, adding to its impressive list of feats that includes the infamous Pikes Peak hillclimb in the US. But this was only part of the challenge; the hardest part was yet to come.
To understand the capability of a vehicle, sometimes you have to take it to extremes. Few challenges are as extreme as the 45-degree slope of the path to Heaven’s Gate. Were it just a road, it would be challenging enough. But it’s not; it is the famous 999 steps. It’s difficult enough to conquer on foot, and no vehicle has ever driven up it before. One wrong move and gravity would take over — with disastrous results.
Fitted with off-road tyres and the transmission placed into sport mode, Tung took a deep breath and launched the car up the steps, a challenge many locals said could not be done. But the Range Rover Sport emerged through the heavy mist at the top, triumphant.
This daring feat is testament to the capability that Land Rover engineers into its luxury SUV, but there’s more to the character of the Sport. Its design gives it bold presence: a display of status and achievement. Its clean lines are elegant and athletic.
The same is true inside, where the Sport boasts true Range Rover luxury and technology, from sumptuous leather to the latest in infotainment and connectivity.
FITTED FOR THE FUTURE
The Sport is also about today and tomorrow with the availability of the latest plug-in hybrid electric vehicle model (PHEV), the P400e. It’s a Range Rover with a conscience, for the mindful trendsetter.
Its 221kW 2.0 litre Ingenium petrol engine is joined to an 85kW electric motor, and together they produce a powerful 297kW and 640Nm. It’s a perfect combination to propel this sports SUV to 100km/h in just 6.7 seconds — enough to satisfy anyone with a desire for performance. But this is a Range Rover for the modern motorist who wants the best of all worlds, and so it can cruise silently through the busy city streets for up to 51km in electric- only mode. It’s refined, effortless, and emissions free.
Its 13.1kWh batteries can be charged in just two hours and 45 minutes using an optional 32A charger, but get to the office or return home and the standard cable will enable the batteries to charge fully in seven hours 30 minutes while you are working or sleeping.
WATCH | The Range Rover Sport Dragon Challenge:
The P400e adds to the Range Rover Sport’s reputation for being the best of all worlds. A beautiful design matches its high-quality engineering — ensuring that the Sport retains Land Rover’s legendary off-road ability. But it’s also a performance machine that is as comfortable tackling an infamous mountain pass as it is cruising over long distances. The PHEV technology not only makes it more efficient, but greener too, with CO2 emissions of just 64g/km.
It is this level of technology that sets the Range Rover Sport apart from its luxury rivals: from its plug-in hybrid engineering to the superb Touch Pro Duo infotainment and connectivity system, 14 power sockets (including one that can charge your laptop), and the impressive Terrain Response system for when the going gets tough.
It’s the SUV for those who appreciate the best in luxury, off-road ability, and performance while making their own contribution to a cleaner tomorrow. It rises to the challenges of the modern world and lets you connect to a future that is here today.