Range Rover SUV climbs 999 steps on the 'stairway to heaven'

Range Rover Sport PHEV the 1st SUV to Scale Heaven's Gate in China

The Land Rover Range Rover Sport was the beneficiary just recently of design and technology updates, including plug-in hybrid technology in a new version that is set to hit the Canadian market this summer as a 2019 model.

Specifically, their plan was to negotiate the mountain road's 99 bends, followed by the 999 steps, which were sloped at 45 degree angle, thus finally leading to the natural fissure and of course a breath-taking spectacle of a summit known as Heaven's Gate.

Sound hard? Not for Land Rover who recently rose up to the challenge. In this most recent adventure, a Range Rover Sport PHEV tackles Tianmen Mountain in China and makes the treacherous climb to the summit. "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 said.

Piloted by Formula E test driver Ho-Pin Tung, the auto first had to endure a seven-mile mountain road - with 99 corners, named the "Dragon Road".

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The challenge itself began at the bottom of the 11.3-km Tianmen Mountain Road (also called Dragon Road) which leads directly to Heaven's Gate.

Watch the above video to see the Range Rover Sport complete the Dragon Challenge. The Range Rover Sport was equipped with the Terrain Response system and placed in "Dynamic" mode.

"I've experienced Formula E, Formula 1 and won at the 24 Hours of Le Mans", said Ho-Pin.

Land Rover tapped Panasonic Jaguar Racing's Ho-Pin Tung to make the run, and outfitted the Range Rover Sport with reinforced tires to deal with the punishment they would receive on their way up the steps. In its debut challenge, the PHEV raced two-time open-water swimming world champion Keri-anne Payne and endurance athlete Ross Edgley in Devon, UK. The manufacturer took on the Pikes Peak hill climb in 2013 using a petrol Range Rover Sport, setting a record time for production SUVs.


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