Lucas Auto Care services primarily European automobiles, including Land Rovers. If you’ve seen the Dragon Challenge commercial, you probably thought about going out and buying a Range Rover Sport the very next day. We know we did! If you think the commercial wasn’t real, think again. Land Rover actually took on the Dragon Challenge and won; a feat that actually surprised the British automaker.
Land Rover Experts Weren’t Sure This Was a Good Idea
Phil Jones is a Land Rover Experience Expert, and he could not guarantee the Land Rover would succeed in the Dragon Challenge. The route is so difficult that nobody had ever attempted it before Land Rover decided to take it on. The conditions of the Dragon Challenge are impossible to replicate, and no matter how hard they tried, Land Rover could not duplicate the route completely at their United Kingdom test facility, which meant they were facing the Dragon Challenge somewhat blindly.
The Dragon Challenge Itself
Land Rover chose Ho-Pin Tung to drive the Range Rover Sport used in the commercial. Tung is a champion racecar driver with vast experience in difficult driving conditions, including rough terrain and 24-hour driving marathons. Tung accepted Land Rover’s offer to push his driving skills to the limit and tackled the Dragon Challenge head-on. What Tung had to complete successfully was
- Treacherous mountainside roads that extended just over 7 miles
- Ninety-nine hairpin turns throughout the mountainside roads
- Heaven’s Gates 999 steps at a 45-degree angle
Okay, we like driving challenges but no thanks. This route didn’t scare Tung, however, which is hard to believe when you consider it from his perspective. One reason why no other automobile manufacturer had tried the Dragon Challenge is that there is zero room for errors. The route, including the hairpin turns and 45-degree angled stairway, has to be driven perfectly. Tung could not make a mistake.
The Range Rover Sport in the Commercial
Land Rover chose to prove more than just the Range Rover’s power in this commercial. It also chose to prove that even a hybrid vehicle can tackle treacherous driving conditions. The Range Rover Sport that Tung drove had a 404-horsepower engine and was equipped with the Land Rover Terrain Response 2 system that could be put into “Mud and Ruts” mode. The icing on the cake? This Range Rover Sport was also a Land Rover plug-in hybrid vehicle, which actually gave it more power up the Heaven’s Gate steps.
Tung also took advantage of the Range Rover Hybrid Sport’s 4×4 capability and completed the Dragon Challenge in 23 minutes. This is why Lucas Auto Care in Cypress, TX, loves servicing Land Rover vehicles.