Panasonic Jaguar Racing test and reserve driver Ho-Pin Tung swapped his all-electric Jaguar I-TYPE 2 racecar to conquer a world-first in the new Range Rover Sport PHEV with electric hybrid power.
With expert control, Ho-Pin piloted the innovative hybrid vehicle through a staggering 99 turns and jaw-dropping 45-degree, 999 step climb to the iconic natural rock arch of Heaven’s Gate. Beginning at the bottom of the legendary 11.3km Tianmen Mountain Road, known as the Dragon Road, the showroom specification Range Rover Sport P400e took on the demanding course, with the Terrain Response 2 system in Dynamic mode.
Watch the unique ascent here:
Ho-Pin Tung said:
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.
Ho-Pin’s completion of the Dragon Challenge further supports Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s mission of “Race to Innovate”, both on the city centre circuits of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship and off the track in the development of future Jaguar Land Rover road car technology.
The new PHEV powertrain gives the Range Rover Sport a zero-emission EV range of up to 50km when fully charged but Ho-Pin Tung used its advanced 300PS Ingenium petrol engine and 116PS electric motor to make short work of the road section of the challenge. The performance SUV then showed its uncompromised all-terrain credentials by climbing the steep staircase to the natural rock arch.
Phil Jones, Land Rover Experience expert, said:
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.