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Range Rover first SUV to climb Heaven’s Gate

A Range Rover Sport was the first SUV to climb the towering 45-degree, 999-step staircase to Heaven’s Gate, China, in the world-first Dragon Road challenge.

By Wheels.ca Wheels.ca

Feb 20, 2018 2 min. read

Article was updated 5 years ago

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A dizzying 99 turns and 999 daunting steps didn’t stop the new Range Rover Sport from completing a world-first at one of China’s most famous landmarks.

The 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 seven-mile Tianmen Mountain Road (known as the Dragon Road).

Fitted with reinforced tires, the Range Rover Sport took on the demanding course with Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Ho-Pin Tung behind the wheel and the Terrain Response 2 system in Dynamic mode1.

At the summit of the road, Ho-Pin Tung optimized Terrain Response® for the second part of the challenge, conquering the towering 45-degree staircase of the 999 steps leading to China’s legendary Heaven’s Gate.



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 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 7,119-ft descent of the legendary Inferno downhill course in Murren, Switzerland.

Heaven’s Gate

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