News : RR Sport sets Pikes Peak record

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Range Rover Sport (2)

The Range Rover Sport established the record for a production-standard SUV and broke the 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 completed the 12.42-mile asphalt course in 12 minutes 35.61 seconds – an average speed of 59.17mph 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), organisers of the annual competition at the Colorado venue.

The Pikes Peak course goes through 156 corners as it ascends beyond the treeline from 2860m above sea level to 4300m. 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 503bhp 5.0-litre supercharged petrol 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.

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.

Range Rover Sport (3)

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

9 Comments

  1. I’m, sort of impressed. But, would have been really impressed if it wasn’t now tarmac all the way up!

  2. The move to a monocoque chassis seems to have paid off big time. I recall that the old RRS, based on the Discovery’s ladder frame chassis, was outhandled on the ‘Road & Track’ skidpad by a Toyota Prius! Now the RRS can perform excellently on tarmac. Fuel economy and emissions might not be so horrendous now either.

    V8s are nice and all, but the new petrol V6 seems to be just what JLR need to fully crack the American and Chinese markets. I know people in the US who are considering replacing their X5 with an RRS, in no small part because of the new V6. This is the sort of single-minded focus on beating the Germans for the customer’s cash that was missing from the British motor industry in past years.

    Really, it’s hard to find something bad to say about the new RRS.

  3. @5 Must have been a base model without ARC. Can’t imagine many Americans cross-shopped a Prius and Range Rover Sport, though come to think of it, there must be a few Hollywood celebs with both.

  4. @6 I don’t think ARC fully alleviated the inherent problems of ladder frame chassis (even the combined frame/monocoque design in Land Rover’s T5 platform) in road cars. The first RRS was pig heavy even by obese class standards, compromised from the start. I don’t ever recall reading a single comparison test in which it came out on top on the track against the Cayenne, X6 or FX, its fellow “sports SUVs”. Some of the more uncharitable views of it were that it was a less practical Discovery or a truck for people who couldn’t afford a proper Rangie.

    The new model seems to be a much better fit for its intended market. Huge improvement all round. It might even be setting the class standard this time around.

    And yeah, the Hollywood celebs would love this. Now that they’ve all bought Chevrolet Volts, they could observe the vague similarities between the frontal aspects of the RRS and Volt…

  5. Looks like the new Sport is a massive improvement on its predecessor. And far more handsome too: I found the old one a slightly too boxy and sharp-edged interpretation of the venerable Range Rover theme. I want one, but only the supercharged V8 will do. Sadly, my new car budget only stretches to the odd city car for my wife. The leftover crumbs buy me secondhand Rovers and the odd shiny bit for my ancient P6B, so perhaps I can persuade the boss to go a little upmarket for the new company vehicle?

  6. Once footballers and drug dealers get hold of these, they will have the ‘taint’ of the previous model. A shame.

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