Range Rover Sport PHEV Climbs Almost 1,000 Stairs At 45 Degrees

FEB 13 2018 BY MARK KANE 41

Land Rover performed one of the toughest challenges ever, sending its Range Rover Sport P400e plug-in hybrid to climb to the Heaven’s Gate rock arch in China.

Range Rover Sport P400e in the Dragon Challenge

First the driver Ho-Pin Tung from Panasonic Jaguar Racing needed to drive 11.3 km from the bottom of the legendary Tianmen Mountain Road (known as the Dragon Road). It has a dizzying 99 turns.

The second stage was to climb up the Dragon Challenge through 999 daunting steps at 45 degrees.

Well, the P400e really shows its grunt here.

Range Rover P400e specs:

  • 0-60mph in 6.4 seconds (0-100km/h in 6.8 seconds)
  • up to 31 miles (51 km) of all-electric range (NEDC, think ~20 miles/32 real world/EPA)
  • 13.1 kWh battery
  • 300PS (221kW) 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine with a 116PS (85kW) electric motor. Combined system output: 404PS (297kW), 640Nm of torque
  • permanent four-wheel drive system
  • top speed of 137mph (220km/h)
  • charging takes 2 hours 45 minutes at home using a dedicated 32 amp wall box (7 kW)
  • battery is covered by an eight-year, 100,000-mile, 70% state of health warranty

Here is a great gallery of images from the Dragon Challenge

Range Rover Sport P400e in the Dragon Challenge

Range Rover Sport P400e in the Dragon Challenge

Range Rover Sport P400e in the Dragon Challenge

Range Rover Sport P400e in the Dragon Challenge

Range Rover Sport P400e in the Dragon Challenge

Range Rover Sport P400e in the Dragon Challenge

Range Rover Sport P400e in the Dragon Challenge

Range Rover Sport P400e in the Dragon Challenge

Range Rover Sport P400e in the Dragon Challenge

Range Rover Sport P400e in the Dragon Challenge

Range Rover Sport P400e in the Dragon Challenge

Range Rover Sport P400e in the Dragon Challenge

Range Rover Sport P400e in the Dragon Challenge

Range Rover Sport P400e in the Dragon Challenge

Range Rover Sport P400e in the Dragon Challenge

Range Rover Sport P400e in the Dragon Challenge

Range Rover Sport P400e in the Dragon Challenge

Range Rover Sport P400e in the Dragon Challenge

“A dizzying 99 turns and 999 daunting steps didn’t stop the new Range Rover Sport PHEV from completing a world-first at one of China’s most famous landmarks. The petrol-electric performance SUV has become the first vehicle to climb the stairs to the natural rock arch of Heaven’s Gate.

The challenge began at the bottom of the legendary 11.3km Tianmen Mountain Road (known as the Dragon Road). The showroom standard Range Rover Sport P400e took on the demanding course, with Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Ho-Pin Tung behind the wheel and the Terrain Response 2 system in Dynamic mode.

At the summit of the road, the Formula E driver optimised Terrain Response for the second part of the challenge, conquering the towering 45-degree staircase of 999 steps leading to China’s legendary Heaven’s Gate using a combination of Ingenium petrol and electric battery power.”

“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.”

“The Dragon Challenge is the latest in a series of adventures completed by the Range Rover Sport after the PHEV model 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.

Previous exploits include a record-setting hill-climb at Pikes Peak, USA, a record crossing of the ‘Empty Quarter’ desert in the Arabian Peninsula and a 2,170m descent of the legendary Inferno downhill course in Mürren, Switzerland.”

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.”

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.”

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41 Comments on "Range Rover Sport PHEV Climbs Almost 1,000 Stairs At 45 Degrees"

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Very impressive video. Excellent production quality.

I wonder how the ‘safety lines’ work. I didn’t see anything attached to the vehicle – only what appeared to be lines on the stairs.

It’s described in this video:


Thanks for finding this and posting.

What a silly idea to use a landmark historical stair just for advertising. Lack of respect to these people and a fall back to times of the british empire. Shamw on you!

It’s up to the Chinese whether they got paid enough for this. Don’t try to tell them what they should do.

Beautiful scenery. I imagine they will get some tourist money out of this, anyway.

Of course we should not tell the chinese what to do. But do you really think money can justify anythimg? That means, if you pay enough you can do whatever you like? Maybe one day someone comes wirh an offer for you…

Anything? No.

But some things, yes.

I don’t know the situation there. It could be a corrupt official lining his pockets with under-the-table payments from Land Rover. Or it could be a desperately short of funds tourist attraction that is being saved by Land Rover. It’s hard to tell from half a world away.

At this point I don’t think you have to worry about China having a colonial underdog attitude or position in relation to the U.S.
If anything, that situation has been reversed by our current administration.

Not everything should have a dollar value attached to it. We live in a stupid world right now.

You seem to have forgotten that Jaguar-Land Rover is owned by the Chinese company Geely…

Jaguar Land Rober is a wholly owned subsidiary of TATA motors not Geely

Wrong! Try again. Geely owns Volvo, not Land Rover, or Jaguar. Land Rover and Jaguar are owned by Tata of India, not China.

I agree if indeed these really are ancient steps, but I don’t think they are. From what I can gather, this is all pretty new construction made to look old in the Tang Dynasty decor and there is very little of the old remaining. I think driving up and down those steps is of little threat to historical artifacts as they aren’t old yet.

JLR is owned by Tata Motors of India. And they build Land Rovers in China. So,…not so much to do with British colonial policies at all.

Fully agree with you. Letting a junk car, (which may lasts 5 years at best) damage a 1000+ yrs old world heritage site is full of stupidity. Cars should be on the road or racetrack. Let it take to Nurnburgring and see what this car is capable of …

Stairs are for humans.

If not, as a next challenge I suggest an (electric) motorbike rally if the stairs of Buckingham Palace.

Here here! Indeed, nicely put! Stairs are for people. The first thought that comes to mind is the destruction (purposely?) leveled on this work of art. This is a stone stairway built on a mountainside, it’s not some plaything. Seriously, evs need to consider whether it is worth it. Massive waste of weight. How about finally creating mini-personal vehicles (100 pounds or less) rather than huge overblown maxi-personal vehicles. So much inefficiency here.

Actually, what comes to mind are robotic horses. Much lighter weight. But seriously the solution has to be minimizing distance traveled. Walking is much of the exercise that’s necessary for good health. Consider, that is, hypermobility. Is it possible, then, to have everything within a fifteen-minute walk? And Green! Manufacturing, commercial, residential, farming–all must be zero-waste zero-emissions–may co-exist side-by-side without a change even noticing a different in your surroundings.

Hey there now! They cheated, they didn’t actually pass the last step!

But yeah, pretty cool video!

You don’t need to watch the video, just scroll through all the images shown, looks to be one per second! jk but that’s got to be a record for the image count in a article.

I am on my way with my Model X to drive up the Rocky steps in Philly at ludicrous speed ! And then right to DC to the Lincoln memorial.

Yes nice!

Now I want to see them drive it back down. Up is the easy part.

Wonder how they get it back down…

In their responses to the video on YouTube, they say they drove it down. Carefully.

Cool scenery. I’m sure any jeep or AWD vehicle could do that with the right tires/tyres 🙂

Options offroad tires used 🙂


“I’ll never buy a PHEV unless it can climb at least 900 stairs” said no one ever…

Better to have it and never need it, than need it, and not have it. /jk

Yet they had to have cables attached to it presumably “just in case”. Lets you know how much they actually believe in the product.

You came to an outlandish conclusion. Are you a confident driver but still wear a seat-belt?

Well, what are they selling!? A car? An SUV? Or an SUV / crane / pulleys / helicopter-to-film-it-all-in-such-brilliant-vivacity?

Gotta imagine that was to protect the stairs and the railings and the people from destruction, rather than for the vehicle.

Did you miss in the video where they admit they weren’t sure of success? They also describe the safety lines here:

Got to get the Tesla comment on. So it is called the P400e, seems like they are trying to gain that recognition like P100D?
Could this become a new hill climb challenge? All disrespect aside, I’d love to see how other vehicles managed this (time trials included).

Wonder how much they had to bribe an official to drive a car up ancient steps? That’s really horrible. What next, drive it through Machu Picchu?

Yes, for sure. One could only hope they green-screened it.

Exactly what I was thinking…

How much was done with gasoline and how much on battery? What was the Mpg?

Did it do it all in EV mode? If not, then I am not impressed at all.

The car in the commercial stopped at the last step, its back wheels did not make it to the top. Why? David