Imagine having to climb nearly a thousand steps to reach the top of China's famous Heaven's Gate. Not only that, you'll also have to contend its steep 45-degree angle. Sound difficult? Not for Land Rover who recently rose up to the challenge.
Their weapon of choice, the all-new Range Rover Sport P400e, the brand's first-ever plug-in hybrid (PHEV). With a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine helped along by an electronic motor, the PHEV pushes out over 400 PS and 640 Nm of torque. It also comes with the intelligent Terrain Response system which has been optimized to take on the rough terrain.
Behind the wheel of the Range Rover Sport PHEV was Ho-Pin Tung, a Le Mans-class winner and Panasonic Jaguar Racing reserve driver for Formula E. For him, this was unlike anything he has ever done and it also proved to be one of the most demanding driving challenges.
“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 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,” added Tung.
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. Bus drivers, and locals alike, said that they normally climb up the steep road at a slow pace as the tiniest mistakes can mean disaster. As for the climb itself on top of Heaven's Gate, most were doubtful with the Range Rover Sport's success.
Check out how Ho-Pin Tung and the Range Rover Sport proved them otherwise.