Land Rover has really put their Range Rover Sport to the test. Ben Collins, professional racer and driver, drove the Range Rover Sport 15 kilometers down the Schilthorn mountain in Murren, Switzerland. This course is used for the legendary Inferno Cross Country Ski Race. Collins started at 2,970 meters and finished at 800 meters.
“The Inferno course is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It is an unique thing. It’s got a fantastic place in history as an ultimate skiing challenge. I am honored to have driven it,” Collins says. “The Schilthorn is not designed for cars. It’s designed for skiers to go down really really fast, insane skiers. There’s no race track like it. It’s a huge long stretch, 15 kilometers of completely hostile territory.”
“The thing I definitely had on my side was the confidence in the machine. On the surface it looks like its really sleek inside this machine, which it is, but it exceeded any expectation I had of what a Range Rover Sport could do. I drove it the way it should be driven, which is flat out, top to bottom.”
At the top of the mountain, where is he was going 75 mph on 75% gradient (steeper than many black ski runs), Collins had to manage ice and sleet. Once he neared the bottom fog set in and he had to deal with wet grass. Here is got up to 96 mph.
You might assume Land Rover made many modifications to the vehicle for it to complete the course without crashing, but Phil Jones, Land Rover’s Experience Manager, describes exactly what changes were made for this stunt to happen, “It’s a production vehicle. The only thing we’ve done to it is put a roll cage in, for obvious safety reasons, we put a slightly stronger tire on it, and also disconnected the airbags because of the roll cage in the vehicle. Apart from that it is completely standard.”
Collins was in awe of how well the Range Rover Sport handled the drive.
“I was completely blown away,” Collins describes, “This thing is built for a challenge and conditions like this, and it was just incredible to see that pushed to the max. I just can’t imagine any other standard car would have got to the bottom.”
It is obvious the Range Rover Sport was built to withstand every condition.
If you are interested in learning more about or test driving a Range Rover Sport, contact us at Land Rover Austin. We cannot wait for you to drive away in your dream vehicle.