The Range Rover Sport is the ultimate luxury performance SUV and the first-ever production vehicle to attempt the fearsome ski run. Piloted by renowned race and stunt driver Ben Collins, the all-terrain super-SUV tackled the treacherous terrain on the 14.9km downhill route at Mürren in Switzerland, completing it in 21min 36sec. The feat was achieved in a Range Rover Sport with a 510PS 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine, standard apart from the essential safety additions of a roll cage and reinforced tires.
During the 2,170m descent, the Range Rover Sport followed the route used by skiers on the tough Inferno Mürren, one of the oldest and most challenging downhill races. It tackled snow, ice, loose rock, mud, broken asphalt, grass and gravel. The race has been held in the Mürren village since 1928, and it is where the ski chase depicted in the James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) was filmed.
Introduced in 2013, Range Rover Sport is a genuine Land Rover success story, delivering all the refinement and capability expected from a large SUV with the performance normally associated with a sports car.
British racer Collins, famous for his role as ‘The Stig’ on Top Gear was pushed to the limit by hairpin bends and the danger of sheer drops. “This was genuinely one of the hardest tests I’ve faced in my driving career. The route was insane and certainly the toughest course I’ve ever completed. It challenged you with every kind of obstacle this side of molten lava and as conditions go, it was about as bad as it gets – torrential weather mixed with cliffs, trees, all kinds of stuff you don’t really want to crash into.”
The treacherous yet beautiful mountain course tested the Range Rover Sport’s capability with ice and sleet at the top, and fog and wet grass at the bottom of the mountain.
The pioneering Terrain Response technology features six modes that will adapt the vehicle’s settings to the appropriate surface. For example, in Dynamic mode the Anti-Roll Bar is stiffened to reduce body roll, the grass/gravel/snow mode reduces under and oversteer by engine braking, while in mud and ruts, the rear differential is locked to allow controlled wheel slip for better traction.