Nearly three months after its debut at the 2013 New York Auto Show, the all-new Range Rover Sport has set a record on the challenging Pikes Peak Hill Climb course, a few weeks shy of the actual race itself.
The Range Rover Sport, powered by a gasoline-fed 5.0-liter V8 supercharged engine that puts out 503hp, clambered up the mountain's 20km asphalt course--from 9,390ft above sea level to 14,110ft--in only 12 minutes and 35.61 seconds at an average speed of 95.23kph.
In the process, not only did the Range Rover Sport set the record for a production-standard SUV, but it also set the record "for any kind of production vehicle."
Behind the wheel of the Range Rover Sport was Pikes Peak veteran Paul Dallenbach, who has six division Hill Climb titles to his name. He also held the course record in 1993 with a time of 10 minutes, 43.63 seconds.
According to Land Rover, the only alterations done to the production-specification vehicle were a roll cage and seatbelt harnesses "to meet racing safety requirements."
"There’s no margin for error at Pikes Peak--you only need to misjudge one of those 156 turns and you're into the trees or over the edge of the mountain," said Dallenbach. "To take on this place the way I did today, you need complete confidence in your vehicle, and the Range Rover Sport sure gave me that. It's fast, responsive and agile. I was able to place the car exactly where I wanted it on the road to keep to the optimum high-speed lines through corners. This is a hugely capable vehicle, and I’m proud to have been part of demonstrating that by setting a new Pikes Peak record."