How do you go about proving that your car is a high performance monster? The Range Rover Sport Dragon Challenge does just that. The Tianmen Mountain Road in the Hunan Province of China is one of the world’s most intimidating drives. Filled with hairpin turns—99 to be exact—and sheer rock walls, there’s little doubt as to how this road came to be compared to a white dragon lying on the mountainside. The road is only seven miles long, but it still poses an incredibly difficult journey, one that inspires the same thrills you might feel riding a rollercoaster.
Plenty of other cars and racers have taken on the Tianmen Road, but none have added in a climb up the 999 steps that lead to Heaven’s Gate. Part of the challenge is the 45 degree angle climb. It’s a grueling test that so far only the Range Rover Sport has been able to conquer.
Driven by Ho-Pin Tung, Le Mans 24 Hour Winner and Jaguar Formula E Racing driver, the New Range Rover Sport SUV pitted itself against the challenge. The plug-in hybrid offers an impressive 398hp. Not only is that engine capable of going 0–60 in 6.3 seconds with a range of 31 miles in full electric, but it’s also capable of easily climbing its way to heaven’s gate. And it did it in impressive time, finishing the course—all the turns and the stair climb—in only 22 minutes and 41 seconds.