By Mike Torpey on 2018-02-12 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
stairway to heaven
A DIZZYING 99 turns and 999 daunting steps didn't stop the new Range Rover Sport PHEV from completing a world-first at one of China's most famous landmarks.
The petrol-electric performance SUV has become the first vehicle to climb the stairs to the natural rock arch of Heaven's Gate.
The challenge began at the bottom of the legendary seven mile Tianmen Mountain Road - known as the Dragon Road - and the showroom standard Range Rover Sport P400e took on the course, with Panasonic Jaguar Racing's Ho-Pin Tung behind the wheel and the Terrain Response 2 system in Dynamic mode.
At the summit of the road, the driver engaged Terrain Response for the second part of the challenge, conquering the 45-degree staircase of 999 steps using a combination of Ingenium petrol and electric battery power.
Ho-Pin Tung said: "I've experienced Formula E, Formula 1 and won at the 24 Hours of Le Mans but this was without doubt one of the most demanding driving challenges I've ever faced.
"The Range Rover Sport PHEV performed brilliantly as it inspired real confidence on the mountain road and climbed the stairs up to Heaven's Gate effortlessly."
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