2014 Range Rover Sport sets hill climb record at Pikes Peak

Article by Anita Panait, on June 13, 2013

The all-new 2014 Range Rover Sport has set the record for a production-standard sport utility vehicle as well as the record for any production-standard vehicle on the Pikes Peak course, where the annual contest known as 'The Race To the Clouds' will be held at the end of the month.

Coming from a standing start, the Range Rover Sport cruised through the 12.42-mile snake-like asphalt course, reaching the finish line in a record time of 12 minutes 35.61 seconds -- equivalent to an average speed of 59.17 mph (95.23 kph).

The record was independently timed and sanctioned by PPIHC (Pikes Peak International Hill Climb), organizers of the spectacular annual competition at the venue located in Colorado.

Range Rover Sport made its way through 156 corners of the course, climbing from 9,390 feet (2,860 meters) above sea level to 14,110 feet (4,300 meters). At this height, the air surrounding the course contains only 58% of the oxygen compared to those at sea level. This low oxygen does not only negatively affect engine performance, but also dulls a driver’s physical and mental performance.

The record was established by a Range Rover Sport powered by a 510-hp 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine. The Range Rover Sport driven by competition and stunt driver Paul Dallenbach ran the course in mostly production specification, except for the roll cage and harness seatbelts that had to be installed to comply with racing safety requirements.

Land Rover has given the new Range Rover Sport a bold and progressive exterior design that makes it strongly identifiable as the member of the latest Range Rover family. Representing a fresh interpretation of the strong design genes of the current Range Rover Sport, the newest iteration takes pride in its modern sleek looks and sporting nature, as exuded by its sloping roofline.

In terms of dimensions, the new Range Rover Sport is around 62mm longer than the previous model (at 4,850 mm), but remains shorter than other seven-seater SUVs as well as most E segment sedans. This means that the new Range Rover Sport is easier to maneuver and easier to park. But since it has a longer wheelbase than its predecessor (plus 178 mm), the new Range Rover Sport offers a more spacious rear cabin that is now easier to access. Interestingly, the new Range Rover Sport is 149 mm shorter, 55 mm lower ad 45 kg lighter than the new Range Rover from which was derived.

Among the Range Rover Sport design cues that were given fresh interpretations are the signature clamshell bonnet, side fender vents and floating roof. The new Range Rover Sport also features a reinterpretation of the its dynamic wheel arch graphic, rocker moldings and horizontal body feature lines.

Although the front end of the Range Rover Sport managed to retain its strong SUV personality, it now dons more modern and more streamlined looks, thanks to its rearward sloping grille, slimmer headlights as well as more sculpted corners.

Press Release

ALL-NEW RANGE ROVER SPORT SETS PIKES PEAK HILL CLIMB RECORD

The all-new Range Rover Sport yesterday established the record for a production-standard Sport Utility Vehicle and broke the long standing record for any kind of production-standard vehicle on the Pikes Pike International Hill Climb course, venue of the spectacular annual competition known as 'The Race To the Clouds'.

The Range Rover Sport rose to the challenge of the 12.42-mile asphalt course, powering its way from a standing start, in just 12 minutes 35.61 seconds - an average speed of 59.17 mph (95.23 kph) on a snaking road that clings to the edge of the mountain with precipitous drops on one side and unyielding rock faces on the other. The record was independently timed and sanctioned by PPIHC (Pikes Peak International Hill Climb), organizers of the annual competition at the Colorado venue.

The Pikes Peak course goes through 156 corners as it ascends beyond the treeline from 9,390 feet (2,860m) above sea level to 14,110 feet (4,300m). At that altitude the air contains only 58% of the oxygen it does at sea level, diminishing engine performance and blunting human physical and mental performance.

The new record was set by a Range Rover Sport with a 510HP 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine, the vehicle altered from production specification only in the fitment of a roll cage and harness seatbelts to meet racing safety requirements.

The Range Rover Sport was driven on the record run by American competition and stunt driver Paul Dallenbach. Best known as a Pikes Peak specialist, Dallenbach, 45 years old, from Basalt in Colorado, has won his division at the Hill Climb six times and won the event outright three times.

Dallenbach said, "There's no margin for error at Pikes Pike - you only need to misjudge one of those 156 turns and you're into the trees or over the edge of the mountain. 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."

The Pikes Peak record run is the first of a series of global driving challenges to be taken-on by the all-new Range Rover Sport, pushing the vehicle to new limits in a series of the most punishing drives to be found on earth.

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

The Pikes Peak car and motorcycle hill climb competition is held annually on a 12.42-mile (19.99 km) section of the road that runs up to the summit of Pikes Peak mountain, 14 miles north-west of the town of Colorado Springs. The timed course starts at an altitude of 9,390 feet (2,860 metres) above sea level and rises 4,720 feet (1,440 metres) to 14,110 feet (4,300 metres).

First run in 1916, Pikes Peak is the USA's second-oldest motorsport event. Some of America's most famous racing drivers - Mario Andretti, Bobby Unser, Rick Mears, and Al Unser - have won the competition, as have internationally acclaimed rally drivers such as Michele Mouton, Ari Vatanen, Per Eklund and Stig Blomqvist. The current outright course record is 9 minutes 46.164 seconds, set by Rhys Millen last year in the Time Attack division in a production-based but radically modified Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

All-New Range Rover Sport

Developed alongside the highly-acclaimed Range Rover, the all-new Range Rover Sport delivers the brand's best-ever on-road dynamics together with class-leading, genuine Land Rover all-terrain capability, while presenting customers with a more assertive and muscular exterior, more luxurious interior and the flexibility provided by the option of occasional third row seating.

Exploiting Land Rover's breakthrough lightweight suspension design and innovative dynamic chassis technologies, the all-new Range Rover Sport's first-in-class aluminium architecture achieves a weight saving of more than 800lbs.

Designed and engineered at Land Rover's development centres in the UK, the new model will be produced in an ultra-modern low-energy manufacturing facility at Solihull, UK.

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