Automotive

Range Rover drives up the 45-degree, 99-step staircase to the spectacular Heaven's Gate

Range Rover drives up the 45-d...
In a stunt unlikely to be repeated, Ho-Pin Tung drives a range rover up the staircase to Heaven's Gate
In a stunt unlikely to be repeated, Ho-Pin Tung drives a range rover up the staircase to Heaven's Gate
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Heaven's Gate: apparently, maniacs fly wingsuits through that hole
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Heaven's Gate: apparently, maniacs fly wingsuits through that hole
The 99 bends in Hunan, China, looks like a staggeringly awesome drive
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The 99 bends in Hunan, China, looks like a staggeringly awesome drive
The staircase to heaven's gate: walking up it looks quite hard enough for me
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The staircase to heaven's gate: walking up it looks quite hard enough for me
Driving up the staircase
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Driving up the staircase
The steep road leading to the staircase
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The steep road leading to the staircase
In a stunt unlikely to be repeated, Ho-Pin Tung drives a range rover up the staircase to Heaven's Gate
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In a stunt unlikely to be repeated, Ho-Pin Tung drives a range rover up the staircase to Heaven's Gate
A crowd assembles to watch the attempt
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A crowd assembles to watch the attempt
Ascending the 99 steps in the fog...
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Ascending the 99 steps in the fog...

Yes, it's a shameless piece of marketing hype. But if GoPro, Monster and Red Bull have taught us anything, it's that there's some really cool things that only get done as a result of shameless marketing hype.

And I'd class this Range Rover video among them. It's a lovely bit of filmmaking built around a crazy and death-defying stunt: driving a car up the 999 steps of Heaven's Gate. No, not the comet-worshipping California death cult of the 90's, we're talking about a stunning tourist attraction in Hunan, China. One of the world's most spectacular locations.

The stairway to Heaven's Gate is the crown jewel of an absolutely stunning piece of landscape around Tianmen Mountain. You can get up there on the world's longest cable car ride, which takes over 30 minutes and spans more than 7 kilometres (4.35 miles).

The 99 bends in Hunan, China, looks like a staggeringly awesome drive
The 99 bends in Hunan, China, looks like a staggeringly awesome drive

But the fun way to do it is to drive your plug-in hybrid Range Rover up the 99 bends, a road that winds up the mountain so tightly and so precariously that bus passengers frequently scream like they're riding a rollercoaster.

And once you get to the top, you can spend half an hour destroying your quads climbing the viciously steep, 45-degree staircase that leads up to the famous hole in the rock they call Heaven's Gate ... or, you can drive your car straight up the steps.

Heaven's Gate: apparently, maniacs fly wingsuits through that hole
Heaven's Gate: apparently, maniacs fly wingsuits through that hole

The second option is only for complete maniacs, and thus the reason this video's worth a watch. Panasonic Jaguar Racing's Ho-Pin Tung took a standard Range Rover Sport P400e plug-in hybrid and made the climb.

Just watch the video, it's great:

Range Rover Sport – Dragon Challenge

Source: Land Rover UK

9 comments
Nik
Not a place to forget the handbrake when you stop.
Expanded Viewpoint
After such a grueling exhibition and test, what condition is the drive train in? Those motors, their controllers and the battery bank must have been smoking hot!! The look on his face at the end and admission of his pumped up adrenaline level was undeniable. That was a feat unlike anything he'd ever done before, no two ways about it. Randy
owlbeyou
Yes, the people in the buses got scared, but the Range Rover used both lanes. After noticing the added ramps to help the driver on the initial steps and the safety cables along the main ones, I then focused on the engineering marvel of accessibility in this wonderful place in a style that only the Chinese would think to build. What an amazing natural mountainscape! I wanted to see the actual "gate" at the top as well, but this is after all a publicity stunt for Land Rover... So why didn't they show us how he got back down? Too slow and boring, I bet.
owlbeyou
Make no mistake, this climb is remarkable. There has to be safety insurances with such a stunt, and this car made it to the top handily, as long as it kept going at a good clip!
Nik
How did they get the car down again, or is it still there?
guzmanchinky
If those safety cables prevented the worst case scenario of the truck tumbling back down, then there wasn't much risk to this stunt anyway, was there? Very cool how it climbed those steps, but not hair raising like the Robbie Maddison New Year's Eve jump, for example (search it on Youtube, you won't believe your eyes).
bwana4swahili
I'd like to see the video of the trip down the stairs!!
ljaques
That was something. I'll bet all those bus drivers =wet themselves= watching that video. LOL Here's a picture of the other side of the gate: https://lacostafilmfestival.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Heavens-Gate.jpg Then there was Jeb Corliss who flew through the gate with his wingsuit: https://www.cnet.com/news/wingsuit-batman-flies-through-chinese-mountain/ And, yes, Robbie's jump was pretty darned ballsy, too. Up was easy. Down would be the hard one, right?
bali
Can anyone tell me why there are tire tracks at the top of the stairs already before he gets to the top??