The Range Rover Plug-in Hybrid has taken on one of the most daring challenges that Land Rover have ever undertaken. In a world-first, the PHEV model has climbed the towering 45-degree, 999 step staircase in the Dragon Road challenge.
Demonstrating its breadth of ability, the Range Rover Sport PHEV took on the difficult 99 turn Dragon Road in China before reaching one of China’s most famous landmarks, a natural rock arch named Heavens Gate. The showroom standard Range Rover Sport P400ee was piloted by Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Ho-Pin Tung with the Terrain Response 2 system set to Dynamic mode.
The challenge began at the bottom of the legendary 11.3km Tianmen Mountain Road, locally known as Dragon Road. Powered by a combination of a 300PS Ingenium petrol and 116PS electric motor, Ho-Pin Tung advanced quickly through the course and make short work of the first section of the challenge. The Range Rover Sport is capable of travelling up to 50km producing zero-emissions, but for this challenge every ounce of power offered by the PHEV model was utilised.
“I’ve experience 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 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.”
Panasonic Jaguar Racing Driver
“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.”
Land Rover Experience expert
The Dragon Challenge is the latest challenge undertaken by the Range Rover Sport. Previous challenges include a race between the PHEV model and Kari-anne Payne, two-time open-water swimming world champion and the endurance athlete Ross Edgley, as well as a record setting hill-climb in Pikes Peak, USA and a 2,170m descent of the famous Inferno downhill course in Mürren, Switzerland.