An SUV has not only matched but outperformed a supercar on a notable road in China. The new Range Rover Sport SVR has taken the record for negotiating the 99 corners of the famous Tianmen Road. A standard production Range Rover Sport SVR set a new unofficial record of 9 minutes 51 seconds for the seven mile ascent, at an average speed of 42.8mph, beating the previous record of 10 minutes 31 seconds, set by a Ferrari 458 Italia in 2016.
Tackling Tianmen Road is the latest challenge completed by the Range Rover Sport PHEV, following a climb to the Heaven’s Gate natural rock arch last month. The PHEV 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.
The new Range Rover Sport SVR is the fastest Land Rover to date with its 567 horsepower supercharged V8. The SUV hits 60 in 4.3 seconds and can achieve a top speed of 174 mph. It’s considered a flagship for the brand with design revisions and lightweight materials to enhance performance, handling, and agility. Engineers focused on controlling pitch under heavy acceleration and braking, and changes to the damping hardware have improved turn-in, mid-corner grip, and body control.
It must have worked, at least according to Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver Ho-Pin Tung, who again piloted the Range Rover Sport SVR for the record-breaking feat.
“I am used to the high speeds of racing but these 99 turns were something unique. Maintaining concentration was the biggest challenge as the road twists and turns constantly, with huge drop-offs to the side,” he explained. “The consequences of getting it wrong would have been really serious so I focused on establishing a rhythm and the Range Rover Sport SVR made this easy – it may be an SUV but it has the performance and agility of a supercar and can take you to places a supercar can only dream of.”