As part of a series of promotional videos back in 2018, Land Rover heads to China to perform what has to be one of the craziest car stunts ever: the Dragon Challenge. For this video, Formula E driver Ho-Pin Tung pilots the all-new Range Rover Sport plug-in hybrid SUV through the treacherous steps of Tianmen Mountain Road before pointing the nose toward the famed Heaven's Gate. This definitely ain't your average off-road course. Check it out!
Tianmen Mountain Road, also known as Dragon Road, is seven miles long with 99 turns consisting almost completely of switchbacks. As if this road weren't challenging enough, it ends on the staircase leading up to Heaven's Gate. And. it wasn't just any set of stairs either. It is 999 steps, sometimes at 45-degree angles. The stairs are so steep that at some points, Tung's view out the windshield is looking straight up at the sky.
As much as the Land Rover team tested and prepared for this one-of-a-kind stair climb, the execution was largely unknown.
"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," said Phil Jones, Land Rover Experience expert.
And, this was backed up by Tung, a proven racer who has also driven in Formula 1 and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, who said, "This was without doubt one of the most demanding driving challenges I've ever faced." Hey, he doesn't have to say it twice. We believe him!
This post was originally published on October 9, 2019.