Watch The Range Rover Sport PHEV Climb To Heaven's Gate In China

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Not surprisingly, when somebody at Land Rover suggested that they drive a Range Rover Sport plug-in hybrid up to the arch, local authorities said bluntly that it couldn't be done.

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.

Range Rover has set an unusual world record in China, driving one of its SUVs up a massive set to stairs to the iconic Heaven's Gate natural rock arch. It took on a treacherous seven-mile road - known locally as Dragon's Road -before climbing 999 steps and navigating 99 turns to reach the final destination.

You can see how he got on in the video below - which, at times, looks hardly believable - and this looks to be the toughest challenge Land Rover has set the PHEV Range Rover Sport to date.

This combination of on-road dynamics and off-road capability made it the flawless choice for Land Rover's latest stunt: A high-speed run on China's Dragon Road, followed by a climb up the steps at the end of that road to the legendary Heaven's Gate rock formation.

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Dragon Challenge
2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Dragon Challenge Enlarge

The stakes were high, as Jaguar Experience's Phil Jones explained that his team had no way of proving that this PHEV could handle this challenge during testing.

Afterward, he 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 was fitted with special, reinforced tires for Panasonic Jaguar Racing's Ho-Pin Tung, who piloted the SUV for the endeavor.

The new Range Rover Sport PHEV uses a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol Ingenium engine paired with an 85kW electric motor system, for a combined output of 297kW. The vehicle made its debut in a race against two-time open-water swimming world champion Keri-anne Payne and endurance athlete Ross Edgley in Devon, UK.

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