The record was set by American driver Paul Dallenbach, who has won his division at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb six times, along with winning the event outright three times. Naturally, since speed is important here, the Range Rover Sport used for this challenge featured the range-topping 510-horsepower, 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine. And considering the fact that the climb encompasses 156 corners on its ascent from 9,390 to 14,110 feet above sea level – a climate where the air only contains 58 percent as much oxygen as it does at sea level – having all that forced-induction grunt was necessary.
"This is a hugely capable vehicle and I'm proud to have been part of demonstrating that by setting a new Pikes Peak record," Dallenbach said in a statement to Land Rover. While you wait for the promised video documentary of the record run to be produced, you can read the full details in the press release below.
The transformational on-road dynamics of the Range Rover Sport conquers one of the world's most unforgiving driving challenges
New hill climb record for production SUV set on 12.42-mile Colorado mountain's hill road
New record confirms the Range Rover Sport as Land Rover's fastest, most responsive and agile vehicle to date
Short documentary film, the first in 'The Driven Challenges' series, will follow
(COLORADO SPRINGS, CO) - June 7, 2013 -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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About Land Rover
Land Rover, the British maker of Land Rover and Range Rover sport utility vehicles, is renowned for providing its clientele with some of the most luxurious and capable vehicles in the world. Every Land Rover vehicle is equally at home both on and off road, and in any setting; be it in the heart of the city, or traversing the countryside. Today's Land Rover lineup includes the legendary Defender, LR2 (Freelander 2), LR4 (Discovery 4), Range Rover Sport, Range Rover and Range Rover Evoque. Land Rover designs, engineers, and manufactures their vehicles in the United Kingdom. Land Rover is fully engaged with sustainability initiatives and social concerns with continuous involvement in environmental and community programs.For more information visit the official Land Rover website at http://www.landroverusa.com.
About Jaguar Land Rover
• Jaguar Land Rover is the UK's largest automotive manufacturing business built around two iconic British car brands with a rich heritage and powerful consumer appeal and loyalty. Additionally, Jaguar Land Rover is at the centre of the UK automotive industry's drive to deliver technical innovation in all areas of vehicle development.
• As the UK's largest automotive employer, JLR has a world class team of nearly 25,000 people.
• In the 2011/12 fiscal year, JLR achieved record profits of £1.5 billion, an increase of £392m when compared to the previous year.
• Jaguar Land Rover is the largest investor in automotive R&D and engineering in the UK.
• Jaguar Land Rover has two state of the art engineering and design facilities and three advanced manufacturing plants in the UK.
• Headquartered in Mahwah, New Jersey in the United States, Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC has offices across the USA and Canada and is represented by more than 330 retail outlets.