Revisiting the site of last month's record-setting, death-defying, first-ever vehicular ascent of the "Heaven's Gate" stairs at the top of China's Tianmen Mountain, Land Rover once again proved the mettle of the Range Rover family of vehicles. In the Heaven's Gate stunt, pro Driver Ho-Pin Tung piloted a Range Rover PHEV hybrid up the 99 turns of the Tianmen Mountain road before ascending the 45-degree steps at the top. This time, Tung set a new record, in a Range Rover Sport SVR, for the fastest ascent of the road itself, beating out the previous record set by an Italian-built supercar.
Land Rover’s 575 hp Range Rover Sport SVR didn't just beat the old record. It smashed it, navigating the 99 corners of the fearsome Tianmen Road in 9 minutes 51 seconds, beating benchmark of 10 minutes 31 seconds set by a Ferrari 458 Italia. Unlike the heavily modified Ferrari, the SVR used in the record attempt was a standard production model. Driver Ho-Pin Tung is a Le Mans class-winner and Panasonic Jaguar Racing reserve and test driver.
According to JLR, the new Range Rover Sport SVR is the fastest ever Land Rover. It can accelerate from 0-60mph in only 4.3 seconds and boasts a top speed of 174mph. The company intends for the SVR Sport to be the flagship vehicle of its performance line; design revisions and the increased use of lightweight materials enhance its performance, handling, and agility.
Along with changes to the chassis and suspension, the new SVR provides improved dynamic response without sacrificing the trademark Range Rover comfort.
Said Tung, “I am used to the high speeds of racing but this was even more demanding. Maintaining concentration was the biggest challenge as the road twists and turns constantly, with huge drop-offs to the side. The consequences of getting it wrong would have been really serious so I focused on establishing a rhythm and the Range Rover Sport SVR made this easy – it may be an SUV but it has the performance and agility of a supercar and can take you to places a supercar can only dream of.”
The Range Rover Sport SVR is priced from $113,600.
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