Last month we wrote about Land Rover conquering the Heaven's Gate rock arch in China, with a steep 999-step climb to do in a Range Rover Sport PHEV.Now, there's another challenge the Chinese racing driver Ho-Pin Tung has beaten in a Range Rover: the 11.3 km and 99-turn Tianmen Mountain road. The new record for that road now stands at 9 minutes, 51 seconds.
The earlier climb challenge also included driving that road in its entirety, but at that time Land Rover didn't set out to beat the record set by Italian privateer Fabio Barone with a Ferrari 458 Italia in 2016 — the same car he used in 2015 to set a 9:13 record time at the famous Transfagarasan road in Romania. Barone's time on the Tianmen Road, 10 minutes and 31 seconds, was beaten with a Range Rover Sport SVR, which actually has five horsepower more than a stock 458 Italia, at 575 hp.
The supercharged five-liter V8 of the SVR produces 516 lb-ft of torque, and the SUV hits 100 in just 4.3 seconds. Range Rover says the SVR used in the challenge was a stock example, and that Barone's Ferrari was "modified." We aren't sure whether that refers to any performance modifications or just the sticker pack applied for the occasion.