The stunt, which took place in the Chinese city of Suzhou during the run-up to the Guangzhou Motor Show, pays tribute to the Range Rover’s 45th year, while attempting to highlight the vehicle’s lightweight aluminium construction.
It took three days to make the bridge by stacking sheets of paper in a curved arch, using a similar technique to that employed by the architects of ancient Rome. To give it the strength required to support a Range Rover, the paper had to be packed tightly so that seven tonnes of pressure were spread evenly throughout every sheet.
It’s an old concept, but this is an entirely novel application, according to the bridge’s designer Steve Messam. ‘Paper structures capable of supporting people have been built before but nothing on this scale has ever been attempted. It's pushing engineering boundaries, just like the Range Rover, and the ease and composure with which the vehicle negotiated the arch was genuinely breathtaking.’
Hyperbole aside (crossing the Darien Gap in 1972 was just a little bit more impressive…) there’s no doubt that the SDV6 Range Rover’s ability to find grip on the steep incline without wheelspin, pull itself up at low rpm, and then clear the summit without grounding, is a neat, if low-octane illustration of the vehicle’s off-road credentials.
Watch it happen here.