2018 Range Rover Sport P400e Makes Daring Climb Up Heaven’s Gate 999-Steps

Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Ho-Pin Tung made the daring attempt in the SUV.


The 2018 Range Rover Sport P400e (PHEV) climbed China’s famous landmark, The Heaven’s Gate 999-step staircase to become the first vehicle to complete The Dragon Road Challenge. The ascent also included 99 turns together with the steps, all at a 45-degree incline. Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Ho-Pin Tung made the daring attempt in the SUV that was fitted with special tires to ensure safety.

The challenge began at the footsteps of the great Tianmen Mountain Road. Tung used his expertise and the vehicle’s Terrain Response System set to Dynamic mode, which improves throttle response, changes gears at a higher rpm and activates the dampers for grip on the twisty-turvy 7-mile road. A variety of different modes were utilized to attempt the climb.

Veteran driver Ho-Pin Tung, after completing the run exclaimed, “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 record run took 20 minutes and 47 seconds to complete. This is not the first time Land Rover has tried something crazy. In 2016, Ben Collins steered the Range Rover Sport down a ski track in Switzerland. In 2013, a record was set for driving a Range Rover Sport across Saudi Arabia’s Empty Quarter desert. Another record attempt was made at the Pike’s Peak hill-climb.

The 2018 Range Rover Sport P400e hosts a turbocharged 2.0-liter Ingenium petrol engine and an electric motor that collectively make 400PS and 640 Nm of torque. Running in full electronic, the vehicle manages 31 miles.

Phil Jones, Land Rover Experience expert, commented, “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.

“By making it to the summit, we’ve proven the phenomenal capability of the Range Rover Sport plug-in hybrid like never before – with a genuine world first.”

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