The Discovery Sport took on a dog sled team led by Laura Kääriäinen, the Finnish middle distance champion, in a unique 1km sprint around the Vesileppis Ski Tunnel in Finland.
As an estimated 50% of Land Rover customers own and regularly travel with a dog, Land Rover tested the Discovery Sport's canine capabilities. Firstly by transporting a sled dog to the tunnel and secondly by putting the car to the test in a one-of-a-kind training challenge. The tunnel is situated 35m below ground level and maintained at a temperature of -2 degrees Celsius to ensure a blanket of snow 20mm deep remains throughout the summer months, creating the perfect environment to test the Discovery Sport's all-terrain strength.
Before the race began, the Discovery Sport utilised a range of dedicated accessories to give the lead husky Jami a safe and comfortable journey to the snow tunnel to join his pack. The full height luggage divider prevented Jami from accessing the passenger compartment of the Land Rover, and a durable rubber boot mat was used to protect the boot carpet. Other features helped make the journey more convenient, like the Land Rover Gesture Tailgate which made getting Jami in and out of the vehicle much easier, whilst the 10-inch central touchscreen gave the driver access to a surround camera to keep a close eye on Jami throughout the drive.
The rivals set off in opposite directions from each other, with the Discovery Sport's path being blocked by a set of ice obstacles to put the vehicles wheel articulation and traction control systems to the test. The sled team on the other hand had a more straight forward path, with an incline to initially negotiate before the dogs could gather and maintain their speed, which levelled at around 35km/h. After two tough laps, the two were closely matched but the Land Rover Discovery Sport claimed a win in the end by the smallest margin.
Karl Richards, the driver and Lead Engineer for Stability Control Systems, said: "Snow is one of the most demanding surfaces drivers will encounter during winter around the world and Discovery Sport proved to be as comfortable in these conditions as the dogs. Land Rover's advanced Terrain Response technology and intelligent four-wheel drive system ensure our premium compact SUV is in a class of its own when it comes to off-road driving - whether you've got two legs or four."