The all-new 2014 Range Rover Sport became the fastest production SUV at the annual Pikes Peak car and motorcycle hill climb clocking a time of 12 minutes 35.61. The 510bhp supercharged 5.0-litre V8 powered SUV averaged 59.17 mph (95.23 kph) on the 156-turn course that runs 12.42-mile (19.99 km) located 14 miles north-west of the town of Colorado Springs. The record was independently timed and sanctioned by PPIHC (Pikes Peak International Hill Climb).
The 2014 Range Rover Sport was piloted by American stunt driver and Pikes Peak specialist, Paul Dallenbach, a 45 years old from Basalt in Colorado, who has won his division at the Hill Climb six times and the event three times.
‘The Race To the Clouds’ starts at an altitude of 9,390 feet (2,860 metres) above sea level and gains 4,720 feet (1,440 metres), finally finishing at 14,110 feet (4,300 metres). At that altitude the air contains only 58% of the oxygen it does at sea level, hampering pony-production in engines.
The record-setting SUV differed less from stock, besides being fitted with a roll cage and and harness seatbelts to meet safety requirements.
Sources say that the 2014 Range Rover Sport will take on more such challenges in the future. Also a short documentary film by the name of ‘The Driven Challenges’ series, will follow soon.
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 uber-modified Hyundai Genesis Coupe.