Range Rover Sport Completes Dragon Challenge in China

The 2019 Range Rover Sport proved its top-notch capability when it completed the two-part Dragon Challenge in Hunan Province, China with its Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle model. The man behind the wheel was Ho-Pin Tung, Panasonic Jaguar Racer. Before Tung, no driver or vehicle had attempted to complete this challenge, especially Heaven's Gate.

Heaven's Gate is a famous Chinese landmark that consists of 999 steps to reach the top. Before reaching the start of the staircase, Tung and the 2019 Sport PHEV model first had to conquer Tianmen Mountain Road, known as Dragon Road, that featured 99 sharp turns within seven miles.

After maneuvering through nearly 100 consecutive turns, Tung came face-to-face with the 45-degree collection of 999 stairs extending to Heaven's Gate. There was no guarantee that the Sport PHEV model would accomplish this task. Even Phil Jones, the Land Rover Experience expert, admitted there was a realistic chance of failure.

To help conquer both sets of obstacles, the PHEV model used several aspects of its design to its advantage:

  • Powertrain: The 398-horsepower electric motor delivered instant torque for better handling, turning and regaining acceleration after each of the 99 turns.
  • Tires: Optional off-road, reinforced tires provided additional protection against the sharp 999 consecutive steps.
  • Terrain Response® 2 System: For the 99 turns, the Dynamic mode option gave the Sport PHEV model sharper response time in changing gears at high speeds. The Mud and Ruts mode was used during the 999 stairs for increased air suspension and traction control.

The Dragon Challenge was completed without any modifications being done to the vehicle. The 2019 Range Rover Sport PHEV model finished both obstacles in less than 30 minutes and stood as the only vehicle to ever make it to the top of Heaven's Gate. This unbelievably capable SUV defied all odds in China and is currently available for a test drive at Land Rover Huntington in New York. If you want capable, this is the bold, off-road vehicle for you.

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