Steps to Heaven's Gate

Steps to Heaven's Gate

The attempt was successful, and the SUV became the first vehicle to climb the stairs to the natural rock arch of Heaven's Gate.

This involved climbing an insane 999 steps, with around 99 turns to get to the top, becoming the first production vehicle to do so.

So to launch the new Range Rover Sport PHEV, the company needed to do something really special. At the summit of the road, Ho-Pin Tung optimized the Terrain Response system for the second part of the challenge, allowing him to climb the 45-degree staircase consisting of 99 turns and 999 steps, ultimately leading him to Heaven's Gate. Demonstrating just how dynamic its Terrain Response system can be, Tung conquered the lengthy set of stairs built into the slope of China's Tianmen Mountain.

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. One errant steering or throttle input and the Range Rover Sport would come tumbling down the treacherous staircase.

Basically what this seems to entail is the Range Rover Sport PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) climbing up 999 steps in the Tianmen Mountain in China, where the auto attempts to reach the peak also known as "Heaven's Gate".

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At the wheel was Le Mans class victor and JLR Formula E reserve, Ho-Pin Tung.

"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", explained Phil Jones, Land Rover Experience Expert.

Previous exploits include a record-setting hill-climb at Pikes Peak, 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.

The Land Rover Range Rover Sport was the beneficiary just recently of design and technology updates, including plug-in hybrid technology in a new version that is set to hit the Canadian market this summer as a 2019 model.

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