Fresh from the set of the Dragon Road Challenge, Land Rover decided that being the world’s first ever vehicle to climb the Heaven’s Gate was not enough. They had to take home with them the lap record of the fearsome Tianmen Road hill climb, humiliating the previous record holder, a Ferrari 458 Italia in the process.
Driven again by 24 Hours Le Mans winner, Ho-Pin Tung, the showroom standard Range Rover Sport SVR sets off from the bottom of the hill and embarked on an 11.3 km sprint, carving through 99 corners in the process:
With 567 hp available from its 5.0-litre supercharged V8, the SVR is the fastest Land Rover ever made, capable of sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds with a top speed of 280 km/h. Propulsion is deployed on all four-corners via an eight-speed automatic.
Other than the optional exposed carbon fibre bonnet installed, the stock standard SVR clocked an unofficial record of 9 minutes 51 seconds, beating the Ferrari 458’s time of 10 minutes 31 seconds set in 2016, by a comfortable margin.
Tung said, “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 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.”