Sport SVR sets Tianmen Road record

Range Rover Sport SVR beats record held by Ferrari for the 11.3km ascent

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We all talked about how un-sporty the first-generation Range Rover Sport was. Supercharged petrol engine aside, the performance was more runabout than hot hatch. But since those early days, the vehicle has become sportier.

Come the second generation L494, though, and things have gone even further, with the SVR versions blurring the lines between sports car and off-roader.

Land Rover’s latest record attempt is on the 11.3km Tianmen Road, China; the road that leads to the steps up to Heaven’s Gate, which a hybrid Sport PHEV successfully climbed.

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The benchmark set by a Ferrari 458 Italia in 2016, was 10 minutes 31 seconds (an average of 40.06mph over the 99-corner road) was smashed by test driver Ho-Pin Tung in the 567BHP/516lb ft SVR, covering the route in 9 minutes 51 seconds, averaging 42.77mph.

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Driver Ho-Pin Tung said: ‘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. 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.’

More info

Range Rover Sport SVR Tech Spec

  • Engine: 5.0-litre V8 supercharged
  • Power: 567BHP
  • Torque: 516lb ft
  • 0-60mph: 4.3 seconds
  • Max speed: 176mph
  • Combined mpg: 22.1mpg